Reading our blogs, you may hear the term “farm to table” often, but what is farm to table and how does it include dairy?
The Dairy Alliance often uses this term to refer to the steps between a cow producing milk and that milk making it to your kitchen table. This definition is similar to a wider movement people have turned to regarding food. Farm to table is a social movement that promotes serving local food at mealtimes, through either direct acquisition from the producer or a source where the producer is made known. The idea of farm to table is knowing where your food comes from, or a way for consumers to better connect with the foods they eat.
The farm to table ideology has grown in popularity due to changes in attitudes about food safety, food sustainability, food freshness, and small farms. More people are interested in supporting local businesses like farms and gaining a relationship with these businesses. These relationships create trust in the quality of products and allow the average consumer a chance to gain knowledge of how these specific products are created.
Some farm to table approaches includes customized boxes delivered to your door containing a sample of products from local producers. Another way is to attend a farmer’s market or shop directly from the farm’s shop, either in-person or online if available.
But choosing a farm to table lifestyle does not have to be as expensive as these options may sound. Many products in your local grocery store are local. Though the store may not promote it, turn to the farmers in your area to see where their items go. Dairy farmers deliver their milk to a processing plant, so they can list what brands include the milk from their farm. Once it leaves the farm, milk is available on store shelves within 48 hours, so you can enjoy a glass of milk at breakfast knowing that a local farmer is preparing your next gallon.
However you choose to participate in the farm to table movement, know that dairy foods are connected to your community.