February 17, 2014

Top 5 sustainable food sources in BoulderAs a student of a Boulder culinary arts program, you stay up to date on all the latest trends in dining. In fact, you could be ahead of the curve. The National Restaurant Association has published its What’s Hot in 2014 culinary forecast, and locally grown, sustainable foods appear several times on the top 10 list. Chefs will be making community sourcing a priority this year by buying local meat and produce and growing restaurant gardens.

Get up to speed with this trend by finding local ingredients in Boulder. You can cook stunning dishes using sustainable goods to ensure that your diners and the environment are both happy. Here are the top places to find local sustainable foods in Boulder:

1. Boulder County Farmers Market
This nonprofit organization is dedicated to bringing local farm products to the Boulder community. You can find the farmers market near Central Park in downtown Boulder from May to October.

The organization began its work in 1987 with just a couple of farmers. Now, there are numerous vendors from different backgrounds, including farmers with acres of land, local gardeners, wineries and food hobbyists. Every vendor grows or makes their products near Boulder. Some groups meet Colorado standards of organic, while others do not. Ask the vendor how they grow or produce foods to discover whether or not their practices are sustainable.

2. Grow Local Colorado
Supporting local and sustainable food isn’t just for restaurants and chefs. You can make an impact in the community by helping Grow Local Colorado. This group of activists partner with other Colorado organizations to provide residents with local foods. For example, they work with Denver Parks and Recreation and Parks Stewardship Program to transform the current vegetation in the area into edible landscaping. They also support urban agriculture by hosting city gardens. You can work on one of these plots and donate a row to the homeless.

3. Growing Gardens
This group hosts urban gardens throughout Boulder and invites the community to participate. You can work on a row to supply your culinary craft while learning more about environmental stewardship. Growing Gardens uses sustainable practices that save energy and care for the land. The group teaches gardening and environmentalism classes for both adults and children.

4. Regional food hub programs
You can buy local, organic and sustainable foods in your Boulder grocery store thanks to the efforts of regional food hubs. These programs offer logistical support to small area farms so that they can sell their food in larger markets. Though there are many food hub models, all of them offer opportunities for producers, distributors and buyers to get involved. Next time you’re at the grocery store, look for food that has been locally grown and distributed through a Colorado food hub.

5. Door to Door Organics
Have organic food delivered to your house or business with Door to Door Organics. This company gets organic products from local farms and brings them to your door. Choose from a variety of “boxes,” which are essentially food packages. For example, you may only need produce or dairy.