published Thursday, August 7th, 2014

City Beat: Are farm-to-table restaurants now the norm?

I actually heard someone say to me the other day while trying to decide where to take an out-of-town guest to dinner: “I thought about XYZ because they have locally grown produce, but everybody does that here anymore.”

Think about that for a minute.

First of all, I do not believe the local restaurants who adopted the farm-to-table philosophy did it as a gimmick, but because it is just a better way of doing things all the way around. It helps local businesses, namely farmers and suppliers, it’s better for you and it tastes better.

But the idea that it is so ubiquitous as to be no longer differential for customers is pretty remarkable.

Yay us.

I also hear from people all the time who have completely changed their habits at home when it comes to shopping and eating. A recent trip to one of the local members-only gigantic stores that sells toilet paper and such by the gross reminded me how different our own habits are.

A decade ago, I’d have loaded up the car with enough meat, canned goods and frozen items to weather at least the first month following a Sharknado event. These days we visit one of the local markets or groceries that deal more in fresh items and buy just enough food for a couple of days and we eat fresh.

The ironic thing about all of this is we as a society today act like we invented eating foods right out of the garden. Maybe that’s just our nature. Sort of like laying claim to “discovering” a mountain or a continent.

It’s also interesting to watch people “discover” that there are certain growing seasons for fruits and vegetables and that sometimes they are affected by the weather. And not all tomatoes are perfectly red and round. Sometimes the really tasty ones are purple and deformed.

• Organizers have put out the call for submissions from editors and musicians who want to be involved in this year’s Capture: A Community Filmmaking Project. Put together by the Association for Visual Arts, the projects asks wannabe filmmakers to create a short film on a to-be-named-later subject during a 48-hour period.

Different teams of editors and musicians will take those and create a film, and all will be shown at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 19, at the Majestic 12 theater downtown.

If you’d like to be involved as either an editor or a musician, visit capturechatt.org/creative-team-submission to learn how. Deadline is 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 29. Film submissions will take place Sept. 19-21.

Contact Barry Courter at bcourter@timesfree press.com or 423-757-6354.

about Barry Courter...

Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...

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