This Saturday a chef’s panel promoted environmental awareness for the Rainforest Alliance’s Follow the Frog week. The food talk was held in the Greenmarket at Union Square and featured local, distinguished chefs Galen Zamarra of Mas (Farmhouse), Marco Moreira of Tocqueville, Larissa Raphael of Telepan, and mixologist Karl Franz Williams of 67 Orange Street & Society Coffee. In case you missed out on this inspirational discussion, here are the main points from this year’s panel.

The Rainforest Alliance

Photo by Tiffany Zau

The importance of sustainable food 

People who live in New York City are lucky to have access to a variety of different farmers markets that offer local and organic produce. Unfortunately, in other regions, the majority of food purchased by consumers is processed and injected with many unknown chemicals. Not only does locally grown food contain more nutrients, but it enhances the flavor as well.

Overcoming criticism when buying organic food

The most common criticism about farmers markets is the price. Obviously buying organic products will be more expensive, but the quality and health benefits that consumers receive from local ingredients manifests itself in taste. In truth, farmers and producers deserve what they charge because of the work they put into creating fresh, sustainable products. It’s the bigger conglomerates in the food industry like fast food chains and grocery markets that retail their food for unnaturally cheap prices.

How we can promote sustainable living

Education is key in this movement towards healthy living. It’s important to allow younger generations to realize that price doesn’t always come first when choosing what goes in your body. Nowadays, people are forgetting the value in taking the time to cook for themselves because they would rather go out to eat or save time to do other things. We should all move towards a cultural shift and learn to appreciate cooking.

The future of the “farm to table” fad 

The “farm to table” trend is booming in the food world and many chefs hope it will be a lasting one. Whether or not people are part of this movement to be trendy or healthy, the most important thing is that they are eating and enjoying food with more knowledge and inspiration. Once people make the connection between local food sources and the difference in taste, they will come to appreciate beautiful ingredients.

The Rainforest Alliance

Photo by Tiffany Zau

Now that you’ve gained insight on the importance of sustainability, follow the frog and choose a healthy planet!