Nov 12, 2018

Last time you visited at restaurant in Pittsburgh, did the server mention the name of the farm where the chicken was raised? Or did the specials menu include the location of the producer who grew the fresh beets? Or did you enjoy a locally crafted beer?

Farm-to-table dining is more than a fad. As more and more Pittsburgh area restaurants begin sourcing locally, the ripple effect is impacting everyone in the region. The carbon footprint of the food transportation and refrigeration and packaging is drastically reduced; the regional economy is stimulated as dollars from restaurants are fed back into local farms; and most noticeably, foods are fresher and contain fewer preservatives, which makes them taste better. Better tasting food makes for more and for happier customers.

But with all of this local sourcing, have you ever stopped to wonder: how do restaurants and local farmers actually meet? Allegheny County has more than 400 farms, and more than 3,000 accommodations and food services establishments, according to recent census data. Is there some kind of speed-dating where these symbiotic enterprises can lock eyes across a crowded room?

Yes, actually, there is.

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