Mind the Gap: Who Does Farm-to-Table Serve?

October 26, 2016

The Eddy Pub in Saxapahaw is not trying to rip you off by charging twelve dollars for a burger, says owner Claire Haslam.

She explains that the restaurant she and her partner opened in the renovated mill at the center of Saxapahaw’s development boom, the one they describe as a “central gathering place for the community,” aims to build a model that’s economically viable for everyone—including farmers and their staff. “We’re here supporting the locals, and they come in and support us,” she says.

This refrain is familiar to anyone who buys locally grown food in the Triangle. But given that inequality has grown alongside the Triangle’s food scene, invocations of community at hip restaurants and upscale markets can often seem grounded in questionable trickle-down thinking—less “let them eat cake” and more “if we eat enough cake, we’ll eventually create a market for bread.” To ensure an equitable local food economy, the farm-to-table model must include the Triangle’s low-income residents. So far, attempts to accomplish this goal have fallen short.

Read the rest at INDY Week.