What does “Farm-to-table” Really Mean?

Farm-to-table can be an elusive term. It’s not regulated, like the word “organic” is, and people often have different interpretations and definitions of what it means. I thought it would be helpful to share with you what “farm-to-table” means in a general sense, and how we support the values of farm-to-table dining at Cafe 21.

Generally, dining farm-to-table means that guests can be confident that the products being served to them came directly from a known farm or ranch, where crops or livestock were raised without added pesticides or hormones, and without an unknown third-party commercial vendor (like a market, store, food service, or distributor) involved in the process.

For livestock, this means not only knowing how the animals were raised, but also how they were slaughtered and processed, and ensuring that quality standards are met in that regard, too. For fish, this means buying directly from fishers in a way that’s sustainable, seasonal, and prevents overfishing.

It also means considering the farms that the restaurant is sourcing from in a holistic way – making sure that their practices fit with the restaurant’s ethics, that they’re not in an environmentally harmful location, and so on.

The benefits of utilizing a farm-to-table process are significant. In addition to ensuring that agricultural products are ethically sourced and fit our values as a restaurant and our guests’ values as consumers, it also helps to guarantee that we’re using the freshest, highest-quality ingredients and that we can obtain the specialty items that we want to use in our dishes.

At Cafe 21, we’re committed to using the finest, freshest, and most delicious ingredients in our dishes. Leyla and I believe strongly in the values of sustainable farming, as well as the farm-to-table dining experience. We use only locally grown, organic ingredients to ensure that our guests have a socially conscious dining experience that is ethical, as well as very enjoyable! We invite you to join us at our Gaslamp and Adams Avenue locations, so you can see our commitment and values in action.


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