Remember the part in the movie Hitch, when Will Smith’s character (Hitch) is trying to explain to Albert Brennaman that after a date that if he wants to kiss the girl, he has to go 90% of the way and the girl goes the last 10%? Well, that’s the same distance ratio that your food (in its most basic form) travels to reach your supermarket or restaurant compared to the distance that you travel to reach it.
Think about it, every restaurant you eat at, every pizza you order, every time you purchase groceries, how far did the products in their most simple forms (raw produce, meat, fruit from juices and dairy products) travel to get into that store or onto your plate? And how far did you go to get there? Was it down the street? Maybe you were feeling extra ambitious and journeyed to the next town over to purchase your produce. Either way, the 90/10 rule probably still applies.
Several New York City restaurants decided that rather than ‘importing’ their food from hundreds or thousands of miles away, they’d cut down on their carbon footprints and support the local economy by depending on urban gardens and local farms and serving only locally grown produce and ingredients. Below are a few examples.
BLT Fish is a classy restaurant in Manhattan (photo to the left). Though it is a little pricey, the restaurant is split so that those seeking an elegant dining experience can dine upstairs while those seeking a more casual experience dine in the BLT Fish Shack downstairs.
iCi is a Brooklyn restaurant (photo to the right) with rotating brunch and dinner menus. With fresh ingredients and the support of the locals, this gem has won the hearts (and taste buds) of much of its borough.
In the Bronx, the Riverdale Garden Restaurant is known for its garden setting and exquisite dinner-only menus.
For a more complete list of restaurants providing locally grown food from urban gardens and nearby farms, see this post.
While only going 10% of the distance is sometimes the easier option, businesses, the environment, and your tastebuds all benefit when you consume locally grown foods from urban gardens.