Lately the local food movement has been gaining more and more visibility, with documentaries like Food, Inc. and The Future of Food reaching huge audiences and books such as The Omnivore’s Dilemma and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle appearing in New York Times bestseller lists. Many local farmers are finding a new market for their produce both among individual consumers and restaurant chefs. Chefs cite better quality, higher nutritional values and environmental concerns as reasons for switching to local sources for their ingredients.
Of course, while there are many benefits to stocking your restaurant’s pantry with locally raised meat and vegetables, there’s one obvious downside–a big price tag. Corporate farms can afford to grow food on a scale and using methods that allow them to sell the food at a much cheaper price and current economic policies favor these larger farm operations.
However, as more consumers begin paying attention to where and how their food is grown, there will be more of a demand for restaurants that cater to those interests. Diners looking to eat at such establishments are also willing to pay a premium for their meal. As a restaurant owner, have you considered local food source options? Is it yet economically feasible for small restaurateurs to make the decision to buy local?