August 29, 2019
Buy BC: Eat Drink Local is about promoting local food and beverage in BC restaurants and about helping customers find local food and beverage on BC restaurant menus.
Why do we think this is important? We can think of 8 major reasons – and it all starts with taste.
~ BC tastes better. Local produce is picked when it is ripe and only takes a few days to get to market. Local milk, meat and cheese products go from the farm to your plate in a very short time. So when it arrives in the restaurant and then on your plate, it is fresh and loaded with flavour.
~ Local food and beverage stay fresher longer because it arrives to you sooner from the farm.
~ Local produce, meat and fish are a better buy because the chef can use more of the full plant or animal. Think of the nose-to-tail and the stem-to-root cooking movements. These offer great ways to reduce food waste and to reduce food cost. With 1/3 of all food we produce lost or wasted (UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization), supporting local is key to reducing food waste and increasing agricultural productivity.
~ Local food and beverage supports a strong domestic agri-food sector. By committing to buying from local farmers and local businesses, we are supporting their growth and ensure their prosperity. With small scale community agriculture, many chefs are partnering with local growers to pre-select or pre-buy crops. This supports the development of new technologies on farms, allows for innovation and contributes to crop development.
~ Local produce is healthier and more sustainable. Most fruits and vegetables start losing their nutrients as soon as they are picked. Reducing the distance between the farm and the plate means that the plants retain their nutrients, as well as their flavour. By reducing the miles that food travels to your plate, we are also reducing the carbon footprint and makes the local buying proposition more sustainable.
~ Local farmers and producers are connected to the same community as you are. They tend to be stewards of the land and the water because they care about their crops and their customers.
~ Local food and beverage strengthens our local economy by keeping money in our communities and within our province. Every dollar spent with a local farmer or producer stays in your community. Generally, that means 3 times more money stays in our economy than buying international products. Keeping those dollars in BC ensures that farming and local food production stay viable.
~ Local food gives you peace of mind. Our chefs tell us that knowing your farmer builds great confidence through strong relationships. It means that they (and you) can visit the farm and know how the fruit, vegetable or animals are grown or raised. You can see for yourself what happens during the raising or growing cycle. It’s exciting, it’s trust building and it’s the foundation of strong partnerships.
Have you ever seen the Portlandia episode about the chicken? We know that people care about where food comes from – and knowing the story, doesn’t give just the chefs and cooks cooking your meal confidence, it translates to a better customer experience too!
Buying local makes a huge difference, no matter what your motivation. If it’s taste, or cost, value or economic impact, this is a great choice to make for you and your community. Use our search function to find restaurants near you that offer local food that will inspire you.