On a recent morning I picked up a package of lemonade and glanced at its label. “Farm to bottle,” it read. It reminded me a new restaurant in Maine—one I happen to otherwise genuinely love—that advertises “farm-to-fork” dining. Sigh.Enough already with this “farm-to-everything” crap. It’s not that I don’t applaud the concept; I co-wrote one of New England’s first cookbooks spotlighting the idea with Peter Davis—a real-deal, agro-loving chef who’s been hanging out with suppliers, touting farmer’s markets, and running a restaurant serving farm-fresh ingredients since back when many of today’s biggest proponents were still getting fed Happy Meals by their parents.

But if the concept’s going to stick around long enough to survive fad-dom—and I sincerely hope it does—then let’s stop these all-to-cloying stabs at pushing the phenomenon one step further. We need a new, all-encompassing label for farm food. One as simple as the ingredients itself, minus any douchebaggy attempts at cleverness.

Either that, or we need a new batch of even dumber, more cringingly specific labels. To wit:

Farm-to-nostril: That glut of high-end perfumes, body lotions, and room sprays that exploit the trend with scents like “organic lavender” and “field basil.” (See: Whole Foods personal hygiene aisles.)
Farm-to-newstand: The piles of magazines and books now so obsessed with organic eating, sustainable foods, and whole-animal eating, they nearly exclude all other types ingredients and of cooking.
Farm-to-liver: Organic vodkas, gins, and rums. Liqueurs infused with organic fruits and/or herbs. As if you can taste the difference with something that’s 80 proof.
Farm-to-back alley: Marijuana growers who tout their product—hydroponic or otherwise—as superior because it’s lovingly made in small batches by a lifelong farmer.

 

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