Farm-to-table food is one of the hottest restaurant trends right now. We're sold stories of animals raised on picturesque farms that are just up the road (OK, more like an hour or two away if you live in a city or suburb), making us feel so much better about the food we're eating. And we're willing to shell out big time for it.
But a recent exposé in The Tampa Bay Times revealed that many local, farm-to-table restaurants don't live up to their claims. Sure, some of the ingredients they use actually are organic, free of GMOs, and from local farms. However the reality is many restaurants don't have the time or money to work only with farmers—and often use bigger distributors who source products from all over the world to get the best price.
While the reporter investigated only Tampa-area restaurants, it's likely menus all over the country are filled with half-truths. There is little government oversight over the word local, and it's usually left to farmers to call out restaurants for their deceptions.
It may be unreasonable to expect a restaurant to be 100 percent local or organic, but we hope that chefs and owners will at least be held accountable for their menus' claims. Until then, take everything you order with a grain of salt.
(h/t Tampa Bay Times)