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Farm to Fork… to Face – 5 Fresh Facts

Farm-to-fork

I’ve been a bit harsh about eating local today.  Like most people, I hate being the bad guy and totally acknowledge there is some give and take in all things.  That’s you give and I’ll take, right?  So, if you’ll give me that the distance traveled isn’t that big of a deal, then I’ll take these 5 awesome advantages of farm to fork growing!

 

1 – Farm to Fork Restaurants

One of the coolest things to come out of the farm to fork revolution is that restaurants are able to implement this style of food delivery right alongside their regular business model.

Of course, when we think of farm to fork we think of a… farm.  You know, something you might see in the middle of Kansas.  Certainly not when you think of a big city like Berlin, right?

Wrong!  As Ema Paulin – co-owner of the ‘Good Bank’ restaurant in Berlin – explains how hydroponics can make the benefits of farm to fork available anywhere, including a thriving city like Berlin.  The lettuce is literally growing out of the walls!

The good news?  It appears these kinds of restaurants are here to stay.  In an industry filled with failures to launch and constant closing, at least one report is happy to say that farm to fork restaurants are thriving!  Customers, just like you, can feel the difference in the crispness of the lettuce and the taste of the peppers – they’re going back!

 

2 – Farm to Fork is now at Kroger, but not Shoprite! 

You’re here.  That means you are either already a hydroponics practitioner or are rarin’ to get started.  This means that you are already a convert to how much better farm to fork hydroponics products taste or you are really curious in finding out.

Either way, you’re in luck.  As it so happens, some Kroger stores are already growing a portion of their produce in-house hydroponically.  If it goes well, you can be sure that more and more Kroger locations (and competitor stores) will be adding these capabilities to your shopping experience.  While ‘farm to checkout counter to car to fork’ doesn’t have the same ring to it as ‘farm to fork’ we certainly believe this is a great trend and can help produce interest.  First, it is picking up the stuff someone else has grown, then it is making your own delicious hydroponic herb garden! No such luck for our local Shoprite stores.

These big money, in house solutions to hydroponics demand are also driving innovation way up.  Infarm, the company partnering with Kroger, is a leader when it comes to using cloud services and AI.  That, naturally, will trickle down to at home hobbyists over time.  The Infarm system is able to use smart data for LED management and use cloud-based systems to control CO2, temperature, light, pH, and growth cycle settings across all of their farms.  This big bucks farm to fork is going to generate a lot of data and drive cool products in the future!

 

3 – Farm to Fork Saves Money Amidst Price Spikes!

Sometimes phrases like ‘eat local,’ ‘GMO free,’ and yes, even ‘farm to fork’ carry with them a mystique of the rich, wealthy, or initiated.  For us average people, sometimes struggling to scrape by, it can be easy to come under the misconception that these things aren’t made for us.  The fact is, you don’t have to buy a space age rotary hydroponics system to enjoy the benefits of a farm to fork lifestyle.  Simple methods will do and the yields will be high!

And if there was ever a time to try something that keeps you away from the grocery store, the time is now!  According to the state of Illinois’ Farm Policy News, global food prices soared so high in May that they’ve reached levels not seen in nearly a decade.  It’d be easy to make a money printer go brrr joke, blame China and Brazil (as the article will), and then forget about it.  Yet, now could also be the perfect time to get moving and get started!  Farm to fork = not sourcing food in a time of high competition!

 

4 – Farm to Fork Saves Nutrients

Yet another great benefit of farm to fork is just how much nutrition is saved by eating food quickly after it is plucked from the vine.  One paper cites a study that found spinach loses over half of its folate within 8 days.  Another article states that vitamin C, useful for helping you absorb other nutrients in your food, can be depleted by up to 77% (depending on the vegetable) after just a week of refrigeration.

With farm to fork, you’re getting more by eating less!

 

5 – Farm to Fork Delivers

You bought a cool thing.  You wait diligently on the package.  It never arrives.  Ah, the pain!  Or, maybe the thing you ordered does arrive, but with something extra… a crack in it that you simply didn’t order.

While this feels rare enough for most consumer goods we order, the same can’t be said for food deliveries.  You’ve all been to the produce aisle and skipped over the whole lot of bananas or brown-tipped broccoli, too, right?

Unlike the farm to fork approach, commercially available food comes with a lot of waste.  There is some wasted in the journey from the farm to the shipping container.  Another bit is wasted during shipping itself.  Yet more is lost during unpackaging.  And so on and so on… It is much like your high school pre-calc course:  .9*.9*.9*.9*….*.9=?

So, what is the loss of using ‘farm to truck to store to fork’ over farm to fork delivery?  It is hard to be exactly sure, but we do have some solid estimates.  The Natural Resources Defense Council estimates a 12% loss at the distribution and retail level across the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.  Rubicon, a company dedicated to reducing waste, states it simply:  “Each day in the United States approximately one pound of food per person is wasted.”

Every step we remove from the supply chain to consumer process saves food.  Farm to fork drives efficiency!

 

 

 

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