Local by FLIK
Local by FLIK
If you’ve eaten in a FLIK café then it’s likely you’ve enjoyed a local dish. From locally grown tomatoes on the salad bar to locally harvested wheat milled into flour and enjoyed in a freshly baked muffin, local products are an important part of FLIK’s goal of bringing quality, fresh ingredients to the table. The focus on local was once considered a food trend, but it’s clear it’s here to stay – and for good reason. In 2012, local food sales totaled $6.1 billion in the United States with close to 8 percent of farms marketing foods locally.
Local products are often of superior taste due to the shorter time from farm to fork making them a chef’s choice when it comes to preparing high-quality meals. And purchasing local produce, meats, or other products allows the chef to tell a story of the dish prepared. According to a report from the Economic Research Service with the United States Department of Agriculture, local food supply chains are “more likely than mainstream chains to provide consumers with detailed information about where and by whom products were produced.”
Instead of enjoying a pasta dish prepared with tomatoes, the customer is now able to enjoy a pasta dish prepared with locally grown tomatoes, know the name of the farm where the tomatoes were grown, and maybe even the name of the farmer all from reading the menu.
Beyond taste and telling a story of the food on the plate, supporting local farmers and purchasing locally-made products is supportive of the local economy with the benefits extending well beyond the walls of the restaurant or café. And from an agricultural perspective, local produce may be beneficial in maintaining genetic diversity allowing for an increased variety of fruits and vegetables in farmers markets and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares.
What is a CSA?
CSA or Community Supported Agriculture is a convenient way for customers to purchase local produce, meats, eggs, fish, dairy, or other products from a local farm.
How it Works
Customers sign-up for a subscription or membership for the farm’s CSA. There are varied numbers of memberships provided depending on the farm’s size and expected yield for the season. Each week, the farmer fills the share with the produce available from the farm that week. Typically, the farmer will bring the shares to a central location for pick-up. The CSA share will last for the growing season, often 10-20 weeks depending on location.
CSA’s benefit the farmer by providing extra cash at the start of the season and the consumer by allowing exposure to new types of fresh produce throughout. It’s a win-win for local farmers and consumers.
Written by Allison Knott, MS, RDN, LDN.
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