Friday, May 23, 2008

After years of importing, chefs are staying local

After years of importing ingredients from all over the world, chefs are going back to basics and staying local. The goal is to limit the human impact on the environment; less flying, driving, and fuel consumption (all of which leaves a smaller "eco-footprint"). Farm-fresh fare is also packed with nutrients, doesn't have to be sprayed with chemicals to protect it for the long haul to the restaurant, and just plain tastes good. Everybody wins, from farmer to chef to diner.

Thinking globally and sourcing locally is not just politically correct, it's also personally rewarding for the farmer. Cynthia Sandberg, the owner of Love Apple Farm, near Santa Cruz, California, supplies the fruit and vegetables for Los Gatos's Manresa restaurant. "It's a very special feeling to see something on a plate prepared by a world-famous chef and be able to recognize the exact vegetable that I picked for him earlier that day," she says.


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