Local Food But Not Local Labor?
September 30, 2010, 11:38 PM
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As a foodie on the verge of interstate travel, I've spent most of the evening doing some culinary scouting for my destination.

The newest trend in the cooking world is "locavore" eating and "farm-to-table" menus, which, in theory provide fresh ingredients to chefs and restaurants. The ingredients have the benefit of being produced by small family farms and are harvested when ripe. In theory, their environmental impact is low, and the payoff is in the superior flavor of the ripe ingredients, not to mention the feeling of virtue those willing to pay the often steep tabs can experience.

In my experience, the menus are sometimes so focused on being local and seasonal that the dishes themselves get sort of forgotten about. However, even with a mediocre meal, one has the benefit of knowing that at least it was produced by good ol' American farmers who don't mess around with destructive industrial practices - they just grow food for a living.

Unfortunately, Agraria Farmers and Fishers in Washington, DC, seems to have missed the memo on that last bit. On their menu, right under a statement regarding their purchase of carbon emissions offsets, is the following bitter morsel:

HERITAGE TRUCK-STYLE TACOS Homage to the field workers who plant, tend and harvest our food. Fresh masa hand-ground and formed into freshly made corn tortillas. Each soft taco is garnished with cilantro and cotija cheese and folded for easy eating. Served 3 to an order.
The tacos sound delicious, but the truth the homage belies is a bit hard to swallow.

Also, am I the only one left wondering, what is a Heritage Truck?

Email Jennifer Loy, Agraria's media and public relations coordinator at  jennifer@vsag.com.