Read on to find out!
What is Farm-to-Table?
Simply put, farm-to-table, sometimes referred to as farm-to-fork simply means buying and using the “freshest” ingredients by purchasing directly from the farm, or farmers market and cutting out the middleman as often as possible. It means supporting local agriculture and avoiding foods, which are mass produced, or which have been chemically treated, frozen or stored for long periods of time in cold storage facilities.
The benefits of a farm-to-table mentality go far beyond simply having the freshest food. In many cases you’ll also be helping support small businesses, bolster your own local economy, and as we’ll explain later, you’ll likely be eating foods with a higher nutritional content than you would find in the aisles of your nearest chain store.
What is Fresh?
According to the FDA and USDA, the term “fresh” simply refers to a product that has never been frozen. You may be surprised to learn however, that some produce, such as the “fresh” apples at many grocery stores have been preserved in cold storage for up to a year before they even get to your local store. According to Martin Lindstrom, author of “Brandwashed,” the average supermarket apple here in the US is approximately 14 months old!
While it is generally considered safe to eat produce that has been stored in this way, you may be surprised to learn that foods will continue to lose nutritional value over time even though they are technically still considered to be “fresh” or “ripe”. For example, that 14 month old apple that was once a terrific source of antioxidants will have almost no antioxidants remaining by the time it makes it into your cart. The same principle holds true for most fruits and veggies: The older they are, the less nutrients they contain.
Where to go for Fresh Near Us
Lucky for us, finding farm fresh produce close to home is super easy around this time of year. Utah’s fertile soils begin yielding bushels of nutrient rich fruits and veggies and it seems every city around us is hosting weekly farmers markets. If you’re heading out this weekend, be sure to visit one of these local events & venues:
Happy Valley Farmers Market
Fridays in August 5-9pm
100 E Main St, American Fork
Thanksgiving Point Farmers Mkt.
Saturdays in August 9am-1pm
3900 North Garden Drive, Lehi
Saratoga Springs Farmers Mkt.
Saturdays beginning August 23, 9am-12pm
Neptune Park, 452 W 400 N, SS
Farms that Sell to the Public
Schmidt’s Farm & Greenhouse
Produce stand open Mon-Sat, 9am-7pm
9000 S 2200 W, West Jordan
Petersen Farm, Riverton *also has a CSA
Farm market open Mon-Sat
9am-7pm (Jul. – Nov.)
11800 S 4000 W, Riverton
Utah Natural Meat
All natural, grass fed beef, lamb, chicken & more.
Farm store open Thu 2-5:30pm, Sat 9am-12pm
7402 S 5490 W, West Jordan
Dirty Spur Cattle Company
Local organic, grass fed beef.
Participates in Thanksgiving Point & Happy Valley Farmers Market, also ship to homes.
Pleasant Grove Gurnseys
Small roadside stand, cash only. Call ahead to pick your own!
840 E Grove Creek Dr., Pleasant Grove
Okubo Farm & Greenhouse
2055 W Gardner Ln, West Jordan
Sells online and at their farm
885 E Alpine Blvd, Alpine
CSA’s & Delivery Services
Offer members a regular selection of seasonal produce.
Utah Farms CSA
(weekly deliveries or pickup)
La Nay Ferme, Provo
Pickup only, produce harvested the day you pick it up!
Petersen Family Farm (See above under farms)
Delivers farm fresh produce, meat and dairy to UT, NV & CA.
Shopping in the Off-season
Buying fresh local produce is easy in the summer and fall months, but what about the rest of the year? National and regional supermarkets do their best to provide the tastiest and freshest produce they can during the cold months and while some items may not be in-season, it is possible to bring home crisp, flavorful produce if you know what to look for. Here are a few tips for shopping at (insert thunder sound effect) your local supermarket:
Fruits – Look for deep, bright color and smell the stem or blossom end for a full, fruity aroma.
Vegetables – Again, look for deep color and avoid anything with shriveled skin or yellowing. For broccoli and lettuce, check to make sure there’s no mold or rot on the stem.
Meats – Check the sell by dates and choose the one with the latest date. Avoid lunchmeats if possible. Many grocers will slice your own home-cooked roasts or turkey breasts if you ask them nicely.
Bread – Check the dates and choose the latest you can find. Also, give it a squeeze; Breads that are more full of nutrients and whole grains tend to be firmer.
And, when in doubt, go for frozen fruits and veggies. Produce frozen at the peak of freshness can have a higher nutrient content than it’s cold-stored “fresh” counterparts.
Heading out for date night or just want to see what the pros are doing w/ seasonal ingredients? Visit these local restaurants for a gourmet farm-to-table experience:
102 N University Ave, Provo
Pizzeria Seven Twelve
320 S State St, Orem
Masa Mexican Restaurant
190 S State St, Lindon
Black Sheep Café
19 N University Ave, Provo
Fiore Wood Fired Pizza Truck