The farm-to-table movement isn’t really about final dishes. “We aren’t just shoving tasty stuff into our faces,” Heather Havrilesky argued at the Baffler. ”We’re embracing and supporting some down-to-earth farmer we might count as a kind of a neighbor.” Farm-to-table rhetoric imagines fixing the food economy and ecosystem of food production in order to invest in local communities.
But for all that talk about farms, the movement retains a distinctly urban focus. “Farms tend to be where farm-to-table restaurants aren’t,” Laura Reiley explained, paraphrasing a shepherd in her acclaimed “Farm to Fable” series for the Tampa Bay Times. The farmers we imagine aren't likely to be our neighbors, Havrilesky wrote, unless we’re willing “to live in a place with only a Pizza Hut and an Australian-themed steakhouse within 20 square miles.”