Closer to Home: How local food programs support your community

By Jordan Knox
November 7, 2012
Local food programs support your community

Over the last several years, there has been a transition to quality over quantity when it comes to our food. However, with organic foods and foods without additives one obstacle has always been prevalent: perishability.

For a long time food producers have turned to chemicals and additives to increase the life span, colour, texture, and other characteristics of our food so that they can be shipped to us from around the globe. Recently however there has been a shift in thought.

If we want to consume foods without all the preservatives but still want our products to be readily available, we have to think outside the box. This is what Sysco has done with its Go Local program. By reducing the distance between restaurants and their food suppliers, Sysco Calgary is helping to increase the availability of fresh local produce, protein, as well as a large quantity of organic and pesticide free products. In addition to providing a fresher product line and an opportunity to educate restaurateurs on what is available in their backyards, this program and others like it are helping to infuse money back into the local economy.

Many restaurants have been focused on educating their customers on the origin and quality of food that they serve, and now it has come full circle. Food suppliers like Sysco Calgary and others have responded to the demand of increased visibility in terms of where food comes from.

Recently our chef here at the Elbow River Casino, Glenn Alvis, attended a familiarization trip to Broxburn Farms. His comments about the quality of the operation and the cleanliness and conditions that he observed on his trip were that the facility was second to none and that the trip left him feeling very confident in ensuring any product from the growing fields would be of the highest quality. The fact that there is now a way that restaurateurs can have access to the products that they are serving, that they can see the growing techniques and the harvesting methods has a great impact on the customer.

About the author:

Jordan Knox works at Northland Properties and is a General Manager in training at Moxie’s in Vancouver, B.C. ¬†With over 18 years of experience in the food and beverage industry, Jordan has worked throughout North America and the Caribbean with industry-leading companies. He received his diploma in Hotel and Restaurant Management from SAIT Polytechnic in 2000 and is a lifelong student of the food and beverage industry, always looking for what new trends are emerging.

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