In case you aren't paying attention, something exciting is happening. People want to eat healthy local sustainable food and companies/individuals are creating concepts to give them exactly that.
Take little old me for instance. This Thanksgiving, my friend drove upstate to a New York farm and came back with 26 Heritage turkeys - the best bird I have ever eaten. Supposedly there are about 25,000 of these fine animals raised annually versus 200,000,000 industrial turkeys - need I say more? Not one to sit by and let others reap the rewards of change, we are developing a new concept based on this trend and have received a Service Mark for the term "Farm to Town." Stay tuned!
Enough about us, what else is behind this revolution? How about the three Georgetown University students who founded Sweetgreen when they could not find affordable healthy locally sourced organic food near campus. They just finished raising $18.5 million from the likes of Steve Case (founder of AOL) and restaurant titans Danny Meyer, Daniel Boulud and David Chang. They create partners with local businesses, everyone from designers to farms, then they install open kitchens and show, not tell, what they do. Take a look at Whole Foods and their new displays touting items sourced within each store's state boundaries from local farms and businesses.
Need more proof? Check out Paris. A group of visionary Chefs, together with businessman Cedric Naudon, nicknamed Monsieur X, have acquired 35 buildings in and around the Haut Marais's rue de Vertbois and renamed the street La Jeune Rue (Young Street). While many investors in Paris have decided to look elsewhere given high taxes and difficult employment concerns, this group has hired extraordinary designers to re-envision the street one building at a time. Beyond bold new design is an underlying goal to provide what Naudon is calling "virtuous agriculture" - meaning, if for instance you happen to be the baker along this glorious street of delectable dalliances, then not only will you make the best bread in all of France, but you will also grow your own wheat in southern France on 250 acres planted compliments of Mr. X, while milling it in a state of the art facility created just for you in Paris proper. Needless to say, everything sold on Young Street is grown using sustainable agriculture methods and presented by some of the best in the business. Also worth noting, the collective has developed relationships with 450 French farmers, cutting out the middleman to keep costs low while still supporting local agriculture. They have gone so far as to develop working relationships along the street itself, with the butcher receiving an entire pig for instance and dividing it up for retail and restaurant use. Each plays a role in a much larger vision.
Those are just a few examples, let me know what you are seeing in your corner of the world.