One of the most important aspects of any culture is the food. Due to air freight, it’s now possible to enjoy food from just about any region.
True, this is convenient. However, in recent years, many professional chefs—as well as their customers—have returned to a more traditional approach to cooking. For a large part of human history, people ate only the food that was available to them locally. That’s how particular regional cuisines developed, after all. People used those ingredients that they had immediate access to instead of those that could be flown in.
In an effort to preserve the culinary traditions of the world, there has been a push to focus more on farm-to-table cooking in which chefs plan their menus based on the food that’s available from local farms.
Farm-to-Table Movement Grows
Partially, this impulse has to do with the main preoccupation of most professional chefs, food critics, and culinary enthusiasts: flavor. While we are fortunate to live in an age where it’s possible to preserve and transport food to virtually any part of the globe in hours, many feel that fresh food grown locally simply tastes better.
However, that’s not the only reason why the farm-to-table movement has grown in popularity. Regional cuisine is an essential reflection of the part of the world from which it originates. A great meal does not merely taste good. It embodies the spirit of the people who first crafted and perfected the recipe. Smart chefs understand this, and that’s why many of them are starting to change the way they plan their menus. Rather than trying to craft delicious meals using whatever ingredients they wish, they are limiting themselves to ingredients from local farms. While this in turn forces chefs to be more creative, it also allows them to serve meals that capture the essence of a region.
Agrochemicals Play An Important Role in Society
This is yet another reason why agrochemicals play an important role in society. They protect crops from disease, pests, and other crops competing for resources. The more effective they are, the more food a farmer can grow. The benefits of this practice from a culinary perspective are obvious, but two in particular are especially worth highlighting.
First of all, a chef cannot create a successful restaurant using fresh, locally sourced ingredients if they are not readily available. The more crops that a farmer can grow, the easier it is for a chef to plan and execute a farm-to-table cooking strategy with a consistent menu.
More importantly, when farmers are preoccupied with keeping their crops healthy, they cannot necessarily focus on other priorities. They devote so much time and energy to simply growing a reasonable amount of food that they do not have the time and energy to concern themselves with the actual quality of the food.
Cultivating Healthy and Flavorful Crops
Agrochemicals change this situation. They make it much easier to protect crops and boost their overall growth. This gives farmers the opportunity to work on cultivating the healthiest and most flavorful crops that they can. Chefs who adopt a farm-to-table approach very often work closely with local farmers to develop farming methods that result in not only abundant, but robust and delicious crops, as well.
If local farmers must concentrate too much on simply keeping their crops alive, then they won’t be able to collaborate with chefs in this respect. By using the right products, they can shift their focus and begin to take the flavor of the food into account.
Spreading and Celebrating Culture
This is yet another example of how the agriculture and agrochemical industries help to spread and celebrate culture. As has been mentioned before on this blog, agriculture allowed early human tribes to develop art, music, religion, and other staples of culture that were far more difficult to develop for hunter-gatherer tribes. Rather than focusing solely on securing a food source in a given region, they could pursue other interests and endeavors. In some respects, the shift to an agrarian style of living allowed for the very idea of culture to come into existence in the first place.
While we may be very far removed from those ancient ancestors in some respects, in other ways we are still very similar. We still rely on farms to provide us with our food and to help us grow, enrich, and share our cultural traditions. Again, the farm-to-table movement is not just about serving flavorful meals. It is about giving people the opportunity to rediscover the classic, locally focused cuisine of their own region. Without agrochemicals to protect the crops that these recipes and meals rely on, we would not have the opportunity to do so.