Tony Ehinger spent more than 25 years as managing director with Credit Suisse. Tony Ehinger now oversees activities at Morris County, New Jersey-based Sandy Farm, a farming operation involved in the farm-to-table movement.
There are a number of consumer benefits when it comes to the farm-to-table movement. Locally grown food is often more nutritious when compared to food that has been transported long distances. Most fruit and vegetables travel more than 1,000 miles before arriving at a grocery store, a fact that forces farmers to harvest food before it is fully ripe. Picking fruit and vegetables before they have ripened prevents the food from spoiling during transport, but inhibits proper nutritional development.
Farm-to-table also yields environmental benefits. The average semi-truck delivering fruit and vegetables burns 1 gallon of gas every 5 miles. That means a typical 1,500-mile delivery route requires approximately 500 gallons of fuel. Food grown locally, meanwhile, may involve only a few miles of ground transport.
Finally, the local economy can benefit from farm-to-table practices. Money made by a grocery store chain that imports food from thousands of miles away, and in many cases from another country, does not always find its way back into local businesses and programs. On the other hand, the financial success of a local farm allows the farm to continue producing high-quality fruit and vegetables for the rest of the community.