More and more, people are learning of the benefits of organic food. The main benefits are that the food promotes better health for the person and it is more environmentally sustainable. The benefits are such that several restaurants have gone all-organic and are serving organic food all year long.
The ability to serve organic food in your restaurant all year long depends a lot on your restaurant’s location and the availability of organic food in the area. Fortunately there are five things every restaurant can look into if they want to serve organic food year-round.
There are organic grocery stores in every state, and they can be found using organicstorelocator.com. Perhaps the most well-known is Whole Foods Market, but restaurants will need larger bulk distributors to serve their food supply needs.
Participants in community supported agriculture (CSA) essentially buy shares of crops and meat before it is produced. Once the food is harvested, it goes directly to the consumer. There is no middle man. The food goes directly from the farm to the table. The majority of the farms that participate in CSA, like Grant Family Farms in Colorado, are certified organic, so restaurants aiming to serve natural, local foods can do well with this type of program.
If you buy your produce from local or regional organic growers, they will not have everything available year-round because food crops have specific growing seasons. So, in this instance, the only way to keep organic food on the menu all year is to change your menu and offer seasonal items, like squash in the fall and corn in the summer.
Year-round farmer's markets are relatively new and not very far-reaching, but they are a lot like community supported agriculture. Farmers bring in their crops year round and offer them for sale. When shopping at any farmer's market, you will want to check on the specific vendor before buying to make sure their produce is organic.
The idea of local and organic is a great one, but sometimes you might not be able to have both. Some local growers simply aren't able to produce food year round, or a bad growing season can result in a smaller crop yield. If serving organic food is the end all for your restaurant, then you shouldn't have any problem providing a full menu of organic food all year round.