We increasingly feel that restaurant menus simply don’t offer much that we find both appealing and healthy. We often feel like we could make better food at home. We’ve evolved to appreciate simpler, boldly flavored dishes with a seasonal rhythm. We’ve come to despise the same old protein-focused menu with ribeye or breaded shrimp that every eatery offers all from the same white food distribution truck. Oftentimes, restaurant food makes us downright sick and we know this and plan for the digestive discontent that will follow before we walk through the door. Why have we settled on paying for food that doesn’t make us feel good?
But the concept of a “healthy restaurant” would never sell. Right? Well, that depends on one’s concept of health food. The old notion of tofu and sprouts step aside. A new “healthy” is emerging. The concept that vegetables and fruits can take center stage, with lean protein in smaller portions to accompany. Boost the nutrition by including farm-to-table greens, roots, and legumes prepared with healthier oils like avocado and olive. All of this combined with fresh, bold herbs and fresh ground spices. A whole new concept of healthy restaurant dining. Flavor! Show us a menu that doesn’t include bloat, indigestion and night sweats. Don’t even get us started on the kids menu. Chicken tenders, grilled cheese or burger. How creative!?
What is preventing local restaurants from making their food healthier? A large part of it is cost. It is cheaper as well as easier to offer partially processed, starch laden food. The other big factor is demand. When a local restaurant offered a new roasted winter squash salad with nuts and fruit we heard all about it. This seasonal offering quickly became a full-time side dish because people raved about the quality and flavor. Customer feedback and requests is how we get our eateries to change. Have a conversation with the host, wait staff or owner about their fresh or local menu options. Seek out establishments with a menu that changes regularly and includes local food with seasonal flavors. Browse thru FarmShed Farm Fresh Atlas available at our booth to find eateries that offer something a little fresher. Don’t settle for digestive discontent!
Until next time,