Farm to Table Holiday Dinner Ideas
Farm to Table Holiday Dinner Ideas
The Farm to Table movement continues gaining speed in restaurants, and we could not be happier about that. Fortunately, this concept is not limited to professional chefs and restaurateurs. We can use Farm to Table sourcing in our own homes, including during the December holiday season. In this blog post we will share ideas about why eating local helps the environment, as well as tips on how to execute a locally sourced meal during the holidays.
Why Eating Local Helps the Environment
Purchasing food from local farmers and fishers has many benefits. According to Go Green, buying local food reduces the food miles that your food travels to get to you. Eating local also supports neighborhood markets that are accessible by bicycle or walking, protects local land and wildlife, and supports the local workforce and economy. Green Matters also shares that locally grown foods are more nutritious than mass-produced foods from commercial farms. Local products also require fewer packing and shipping materials to transport them from the farm to the end user.
Main Course: Local Livestock & Fish
Depending on where you live, you can find sustainably raised local meats and poultry. Not only are locally raised livestock usually healthier than those at commercial farms, but it is also often more budget friendly. For example, cattle farms often allow you to purchase a half or a quarter of a cow, which you can even split with a friend if you have limited freezer space.
The closer you live to the ocean or a large body of water, the easier it is to find fresh, locally caught fish and shellfish. The website Local Catch Network offers the ability to search for sustainable fishers and fish-shares in your area. If you live inland, you can find local companies that work to responsibly source seafood to your area.
Farm to Table Veggies During the Winter
Farmers markets are thriving throughout the country, and it is easy to find great local produce. Local Harvest is a great resource to find local farms, farmers markets, and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). If you live in the northern part of the United States, it can be more difficult to find local produce in the winter, but it is not impossible. Search the word “greenhouse” in the Local Harvest search tool to find local farms that grow select items year-round.
Produce boxes like Farmbox Direct, Imperfect Foods, and Misfits Market are great options if you cannot find a variety of local produce in your immediate area. Although these boxes are shipped from other parts of the country, they still travel shorter distances than most commercial produce that is shipped from across the world instead of within the United States.
Supporting Local Bakeries, Dairies, and Specialty Food Markets
You can make Santa happy with milk from your local dairy and cookies from your favorite bakery. While you're shopping, pick up ice cream and baked goods for your holiday dinner. Not only can you source items for your own holiday meal at specialty food markets, but you can also find thoughtful gifts for friends and family, like local honey and custom, hand-made hot cocoa bombs.
Putting it All Together
Don’t worry if you cannot find all of your ingredients from local sources. Every bit helps, and you can put together a menu in which you source some ingredients locally, some from specialty shops, and others from the regular grocery store.
Are you serving a farm to table, locally sourced Christmas or Hanukkah meal this year? As always, we want to see your photos! Share them on the Pure Earth Pets Facebook page or tag us on Instagram with @pureearthpets or #pureearthpets.