A relevant food, lifestyle and culture report from the Hartman Group of Seattle, WA, reports on the growing consumer importance of "local" when it comes to the source and quality of food preferences.
Although this research is about the purchase and consumption of food at home, it speaks to us and our style of traveler who also appreciates experiencing farm to table when traveling on a Wildland Adventure. When we travel we go to the source to discover the origins of foods and to learn local recipes from families and celebrity chefs. This fosters a more sustainable kind of tourism in which we engage culinary experts, meet farmers and boutique wine makers, enjoy meals in local homes, and any number of special dining experiences in local eateries even including street foods like "mussels a la Istanbul" when traveling in Turkey.
We always seek out opportunities to feature local food and beverages in this way on our adventure trips, especially on our expanding repertoireof wine and culinary adventures. Although terroir is typically spoken in reference to the character of wine influenced by local environmental factors, I believe it equally applies to how we travel and engage all our senses to experience a place and its people. Food as well as wine, and indeed the way in which we travel with respect, understanding and compassion, is a great way to absorb the terroir of the land and local culture. Just like at home, we feature deeper and more plentiful wine and culinary experiences, and more meaningful connections with people we encounter on our travel adventures throughout the world.
It's an easy jump translating this consumer food research summary to how it applies to our 'Wild Style' of travel. According to the Hartman Group:
"Local offers greater transparency and trust. Consumers believe local producers and small farmers have more integrity and are deeply invested in the quality of their products. Shorter commodity chains, smaller scales of production and proximity to the sources of their food bolster consumer trust. The ability to engage with and ask questions of local producers speaks to the desire for transparency and reciprocal relationships, which consumers feel is missing with bigger companies (62 percent of consumers say they “try to understand where their products are made,” and 56 percent say that they “try to buy products made in their region”)"
In our view, as Hartman concludes, it's not only local food retailers and restaurants that need to take a stand supporting local food production, but travel companies can do our part as well to support more sustainable tourism:
"Local retailers and restaurants are seen as excelling in taking a stand on issues and demonstrating alignment with consumers’ values and priorities that link to local. These include pledges to support local small producers, not carry GMOs and not stock unethical brands, and being transparent about menu ingredients on prepared foods."
Traveling in local style, whether home or abroad, is increasingly relevant to have a deeper and more meaningful experience. Just like dining at home, eating "local" on the road translates to having a more memorable gourmet travel experiences, a healthier and fresher diet, and a more sustainable opportunity to support local families, communities and the environment.
From wine to olive oil, cheese to sausages, and heirloom corn and potatoes, in our global marketplace of food and beverages, we can take you back to the source of some of the specialty food items you may already purchase for your home at Whole Foods, Trader Joe's or other food and wine shops like our friends at Arista Cellars where we purchase our wine in our home town of Edmonds.
We love planning a diverse array of culinary experiences. On all our trips to Turkey
we budget generously so you get to try a new dish every day, because as Turkish poet Abdulhak Sinasi wrote, a dish in Turkey is not just simply food, "The blessed thing is an entire civilization in itself."
On Wildland Adventures in India
and our trips to Costa Rica
you experience truly local dishes dining with local families. Our developing line of wine and culinary adventures like our Wines, Cultures & Canyonlands of Argentina
, South African safaris
featuring the Cape winelands, and new trips to Croatia
, you sip wine with boutique wine producers, dine at 5* restaurants with top chefs and try traditional barbeques in the local style. We visit local farmer's markets whenever possible, and often head out of town to meet farmers who invite us to experience their daily life, combined with rural walks, hikes, or cycling in the countryside.