In recent months, several notable foodservice operations have launched programs to support community farmers and ranchers by promoting consumption of locally and sustainably produced ingredients.
Bon Appetit Management Company is hosting its “Eat Local Challenge” on September 29 in locations nationwide. The event, first held in 2005, encourages chefs to create a meal with ingredients sourced entirely within a 150 mile “food shed.” Chipotle Mexican Grill has announced a local produce program which specifies that 35 percent of at least one bulk produce item must be sourced from local farmers. The company hopes to establish partnerships with farms across the country to supply its 800+ locations nationwide. Loews Hotels has an “Adopt-A-Farmer” program which encourages chefs in its 17 locations to establish relationships with local producers and create menus that feature regional and seasonal ingredients. Many locations also maintain their own organic gardens with fresh herbs and vegetables that can be harvested as needed.
At Christopher Ranch, we applaud these efforts to explore the origin of our food supply and relate the story behind how it is produced. We’ve been growing the finest quality garlic in the California’s fertile farmland for over 50 years, and have faced intense competition over the last decade from imports sourced as far as 3000 miles away. Locally grown garlic is fresher, more nutritious, and more flavorful than garlic that travels long distances from the point of origin. As these talented chefs demonstrate, there is no limit to the variety of menu items that can be created with ingredients grown right in your local community.
Take the “Local Challenge!” Be sure to visit some of these locations to demonstrate your support of sustainable agriculture and biodiversity!