October is National Farm-to-School month in the United States. Over 42,500 schools and farms participate in the farm-to-school program. This year's theme is "One Small Step" and it highlights how we can all make a difference in our food system. More information about this program can be found on the Farm-to-School website.
The concepts of Farm-to-School and Farm-to-Table are important to us in the whole foods, plant-based movement, and we should support those concepts where we can. They take out the middle person. It's just good, fresh food straight from the farm to our mouths.
In general, I love eating at true farm-to-table restaurants because the food is fresh, more likely to be organic and is not processed. It also supports local, family-owned farms. While some such restaurants are heavily animal-focused, it's usually possible to get a good plant-based meal at most farm-to-table restaurants. Menus can be checked out online before going or special requests can be made of the chefs once there.
The National Farm-to-School program is an important one because it helps to teach children the value in eating fresh, whole foods from local farms and gardens. And habits that children learn at an early age can stay with them as they grow older. When I was young, we were taught none of that, and it took me over sixty years to learn it. That's over sixty years of attacking my own health on a daily basis, contributing to global warming and water depletion and rainforest clearing through my food choices, and causing misery for many creatures that may have suffered to become food on my plate. It will be a better world if our children and grandchildren can learn to be more conscious of the food choices they make and the impact those choices have on their own health and the world around them.
So, in my opinion, those of us in the whole foods, plant-based movement should be looking for ways to partner up with the Farm-to-Table and the Farm-to-School movements. They are aligned with our interests. And by encouraging their growth, we create more options for places to eat, a smarter future generation when it comes to food, a more vibrant local economy, survival of small family-owned and organic farms and a better world overall.