Last month, my hometown newspaper, the Tampa Bay Times, published a two-part investigative series into the farm-to-fable concept in restaurants and farmers markets. This groundbreaking story unearths the truth that - surprise, surprise - most restaurants and retailers that tout themselves as "farm-to-table" are liberally stretching that term, if not boldly lying about it. Here are links to the articles:
Part 1: Farm-to-Table Restaurants
Part 2: Farmers Markets
While this investigation only covered one region of Florida, it's not an unreasonable assumption to believe this goes on all over the country. It's too difficult for consumers to verify the source of produce, seafood, and meat, so we're forced to take vendors at their word. Journalism like this puts the pressure on retailers to be honest and the government to put more regulation and enforcement in place.
Similarly, half-truths and outright lies exist in the wine industry. It's impossible to verify most claims found on a bottle's label in the store unless you already know the producer or have time to kill in the aisle Googling for information. If you live near a wine region, you have the luxury of being able to visit the winery and ask direct questions. But even then, some claims can be stretched or generalized by tasting room staff.
I'll keep on the lookout for good investigative journalism on these practices by winemakers. We all deserve to be eating and drinking authentic products.
Other non-travel ramblings on wine and business.