Farm to Plate is not just a phrase. It refers to a method of harvesting and distribution that focuses on delivering fresh, seasonal, food to local businesses including restaurants and markets. It emphasizes a direct relationship between a farm and a restaurant. Restaurants are usually motivated to these direct relationships by the quality and freshness of the food they get from the farms—items will often be delivered directly to the restaurant within hours of being harvested—as well as the ability to get speciality items that not that many people in their area grow.
Reasons why this idea is so popularized:
One of the main reason that people are turning to fresh produce is that fresh produce looks and tastes much better. Vegetables and fruits are picked fresh at their peak.
Locally procured food has travelled a lesser time and distance to the kitchen preserving the nutrients. Foods from faraway places and overseas have to be preserved and need to travel by ship, air, and trucks to reach. This travel could range for a new day to even a few weeks! Needless to say, fresh produce adds a dimension to food like nothing else.
Local farming helps maintain the diversity, Large-scale productions demand that the variety chosen for plantation.
Small local farmers usually grow different varieties to be able to harvest all year round which means lots of colour and flavour. It also enhances the health of the soil, in turn, making our food more nourishing.
Eating locally sourced food also helps you support the families of farmers, thereby preventing them from selling off land to create a concrete jungle.
These benefits are encouraging not just families to go local but there is also a silent, but growing movement, of chefs and restaurateurs who are committed to seasonal fresh food grown responsibility. They understand the variety, richness, and nutrition it brings to their dishes.
Chef Anuj Wadhwan, Executive Sous Chef, Roseate House of Roseate Hotels and Resorts says “ The vegetables we usually eat reach us through several third-party wholesalers and not from the farmers; this produce travels, overloaded miles in an open truck which kills the vitamins and nutrition of the food we eat.”
At Roseate Hotels and Resorts, ingredients are sourced from their own organic farm in Delhi, which is a minute away from both the properties in the city. Here vegetables are nurtured, without any chemicals and pesticides, in their natural climate and are available seasonally. This gives them a chance to provide their guests with delicious seasonal dishes.
Sanjay Bhalla of Thewaywewere farms in Noida takes it further. They not only engage in organic Natural Farming, one can experience it first hand while visiting them for a meal.
Guests are treated to lunch made from fresh organic vegetables they choose from the farm, these are then cooked on chulas and served with different rotis made with traditional grains like bajra, and makka – all grown in-house. Kids can go plucking seasonal vegetables or play with the calves or even try their hand at farming on the property.
Delhi is not alone when it comes to experiencing this Farm to table concept. Mumbai, with its metropolitan culture and a vast population of eager to experiment, people, has some very interesting places to enjoy a farm to plate experience.
Masque is a wilderness – to – table restaurant set in Mumbai’s mill lands, where fresh, local ingredients are used to create a seasonal menu with international flair. Everything used is sourced from within the country, and the menu changes when the seasons do, ensuring that only the highest quality ingredients reach their patrons. Some of the ingredients are grown on their very own farm; the food is driven and inspired by what the farmers and suppliers offer on a daily basis.
Farm to Plate is an investment to a healthier community and an initiative to make earth as a healthier planet. There does seem to be something very primal and instinctive about this trend; it returns us back to our ancestors’ days of hunting and gathering. It’s a back-to-basics approach that can be refreshing in a hectic, technology-driven world.
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