5 Reasons to Eat at Local Restaurants
Here at Harried and Hungry, we understand the power and importance of locally-grown produce, and we hand-select most of the ingredients for our menu from local sources, like the farmers at Pike Place Market we visit weekly. Here are a few of the reasons we prize these local partnerships:
Produce that’s shipped hundreds of miles from where it was grown isn’t picked when it’s ripe and ready. For example, tomatoes are usually shipped green so that they’re tough enough to survive the journey and won’t arrive spoiled. However, this also means that they’re not allowed the maximum amount of time on the vine to absorb the nutrients from the soil and sun that become flavor. The skins and flesh of commercially mass-produced tomatoes are also engineered to be tough, not tender, to minimize bruising. Local produce is picked when it’s at the peak of its ripeness and usually grown more naturally, and you can taste the difference.
Always in Season
We don’t have the same menu year round, and that’s because local farms don’t grow the same things year round. Have you ever noticed how lousy the peaches are in early spring, and how succulent they are in July? Food is best when it’s in season, and when you shop locally, you’re always choosing produce at its best.
Forming Relationships and Strengthening Community
Seattle is a big city, and it’s only been getting bigger. But Harried and Hungry is a family-owned and operated business with a deeply local mission, and connecting to our community is part of what makes our work feel meaningful. There is nothing better than knowing the names and faces of the farmers who grow the produce we use, and we love being able to talk to them about their crops, get ideas, and know exactly what kind of journey the food we use has been on.
Money Stays Local
We also love that by buying locally, we’re putting our money back into the community. If we were buying our produce from chain suppliers, we’d essentially be outsourcing our menu. By buying as much as we can from local farmers, bakers, and coffee roasters, our money goes straight into the hands of the people making what we’re buying. That money will in turn be spent again right here at home—perhaps one day some of it will even find its way back to Harried and Hungry!
Good for the Environment
When land is being used to sustainably grow food, it keeps the air fresher, maintains and enriches the integrity of the soil, slows erosion, and benefits animal and insect life, especially for pollinators. Having local farmland increases the quality of that land and diversifies the ecosystem. Further, the reduced need to ship, package, and store the fruits and vegetables means the produce has a smaller carbon footprint.
At Harried and Hungry, we use as much local product as possible. Come in and see (and taste) for yourself!