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Philly Farm and Food Fest 2016

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(The following is a special series on Bluejeanfoodcritic.com written by guest contributing writer William Knowles. He highlights his passions of of trying something new whenever the opportunity presents itself, or possibly something old, but new again since it has been a while. I hope you enjoy his very special perspective that I am sure many of you can relate to. Follow him on his exciting journey “Around Town”)

The 5th Annual Philly Farm and Food Fest was held on Sunday, April 10th at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Interesting and informative, the goal of the gathering is to generate interest and awareness of local farm to table vendors and restaurants. This day also presented creative ways of using healthier options in a modern world where processed foods are the norm for consumption.

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Hosted by Food Fair and Kitchen Table Consultants, and presented by Chipotle Mexican Grill, the once small event has grown over time to feature an abundance of vendors plying their craft. Via the “Wholesale Concierge Team”, networking for the vendors and media was made possible. The Curd Convention, one of the most popular features each year, is a separate wing of the day’s events that caters to those who love cheese (count me in). Among the Philly fixtures taking part in this portion included DiBruno Bros., and Caputo Brothers Creamery. The Local Libations Lounge, another busy spot, featured local breweries, distillers and wine makers presenting their offerings.

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Among the many local vendors setting up shop included Cecil Creek Farm, Golden Valley Farms, Lancaster Food Co., and The Common Market. Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative, a non-profit organization for farmers to unite and share ideas, was there to explain their existence and purpose. Each unique exhibition attempted to demonstrate how they create the specific items that they sell, in a more natural and healthy way then processed foods. An example of this is Applegate Hot Dogs, whose organic and all natural wieners are growing more popular in stores these days. La Davisa Meats gave tutorials on how they make sausage with more humanely treated animals. Featured speakers throughout the day supplied insight on what the modern farmer typically deals with presently, both agriculturally and economically…

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Chipotle, mentioned as one of the event presenters, exhibited a “wall of jars” that intended to show you the difference between processed foods, and those that are natural and fresh. I found this portion fascinating as I observed to myself that many foods I eat would fall into the processed category, while my intake of what is considered fresh is minimal. This point was driven home by the many foods I sampled there, all of which tasted good while yet being all natural. Educational is the best way for me to describe my day at the fest, and it has opened my eyes as to what I can change myself to eat healthier (and also support local business in the process).

The Philly Farm and Food Fest will be back next year; plan to visit and enjoy the variety. See you again soon “around town”…

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