In the last 20 years, the amount of local foods consumed in the American diet has tripled, according to USDA, and now comprises two percent of food consumed in the U.S. As with anything that’s popular, some have seen fit to tear it down. Why? Do they find the locavores annoying, or do they seriously believe, as many argue, that local food enthusiasts pose a threat to the planet?
Thanks to the farm-to-table movement, menus have become dense with information, as chefs detail the life histories of every ingredient in every dish. This focus comes increasingly at the expense of the finished product, according to food critic Corby Kummer in Vanity Fair . While Kummer has nothing against locally sourced foods—he’s a fan, in fact—he’s becoming weary of the “farmwashing” craze. He mentions a talented Silicon Valley chef, David Kinch, as an example of how less can be more. Kinch works closely with a local farm for much of his produce, but doesn’t gloat about it in the menu.
“You could appreciate the fact that many of the ingredients came from 13 miles down the road, or not. But you didn’t need to listen to a word about the farmer, or how his pigs went to Montessori school. That’s what the future of farm-to-table should be: food that speaks for itself without having to tell you where it comes from.”