By eating organic and local foods you are supporting the natural resources we depend on to produce enough food now and in the future. you are affecting soil, water, and air as well as preserving natural habitat for beneficial organisms and for wildlife. you are also supporting the health of consumers and farm workers, and reducing demand for toxic chemicals and synthetic fertilizers that put the health of workers in those industries at great risk.
What is organic?
Organic produce is grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers or other methods (such as genetically modified organisms and chemicals). Food ingredients are produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations.
Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones. Free range farming is also a more environmentally sound/humane method of raising animals and is healthier for our bodies as well.
Why is The Mark certified organic, have they always been serving mostly organic foods?
The Mark has been serving organic and local foods for more than a decade, always clearly defining what organic ingredients are being served on our menu. Becoming certified organic by Washington State in 2009, we additionally subject ourselves to the rigorous inspections and fees involved with certification for the assurance of our client base.
Organic and local production now has a strong marketing value, as a result, people are using it for that purpose, though not always being honorable in practice and profiting at the expense of the local food system as opposed to supporting it.
So how can you know what your eating when dining out?
A place to start to start is by asking questions:
– What exactly is organic on the menu and in the ingredients of each item?
– try to discover the restaurant mixes organic food with conventional food to increase their profit.
– Are the oils used in preparation also organic? (Chemically extracted and low quality oils can be toxic or decrease your bodies ability to utilize necessary good fats compromising your wellness.)
– What about the spices and other additives, are they organic too?
By asking questions, you may cause change in accountability, along with helping you dine more safely and consciously.
What part do I play by choosing an organic foods restaurant?
One of the most important decision you can make each day is to choose safe, clean food not just at home but whenever you eat out. Share your food wellness and knowledge with friends–you might literally be saving their lives and creating a healthier environment for all. How you choose to spend money as a consumer drives the market!
This knowledge is imperative to the continuation of having safe, local food available as the organic standards are under attack even now by large businesses seeking to profit from the food you choose to eat. In other words, they profit from the use of the term “organic” without actually adhering to the practices that define organic, healthy soil or healthy and humanely-raised animals, etc.
What does The Mark do to become even more sustainable?
The Mark is an independent and family run venture. The space was designed and constructed using recycled and vintage materials whenever possible. The Mark sets sustainable goals each year and as revenues permit, strives to improve from an ecological standpoint.
We believe that we are working to SUPPORT INCREASED SUSTAINABILITY FOR THE WHOLE COMMUNITY BY SUPPORTING AND PROMOTING LOCAL AGRICULTURE AND ORGANIC FOOD.
What are some of the challenges/strategies for utilizing primarily organic, local, seasonal ingredients in creating, excellent rustic Italian cuisine?
In order to maintain the best quality we shop around constantly and seek out the best farmers and suppliers to bring good food to your table. At times, the price of an organic item may be 2 or more times that of a non-organic item and this must be factored in when we create a menu that can be enjoyed and afforded by all.
How does The Mark support local food systems in Olympia?
The Mark supports food culture by serving mostly organic products that are sourced locally whenever possible and have actively promoted the direct purchase of goods by consumers from local organic farms since 2001. It is our belief that our farm to table introduction is one of our biggest roles in supporting the local food system. We hold anual spring CSA aperitivo for our farmers, have facilitated the introduction of artists who may feature the farms and continue to try to bring attention to the farmers work by including there amazing product or contribution in our press when ever possible. We are allways learning and striving to improve in this aspect of our work. The Mark became the only restaurant certified organic by Washington state in 2009.
What are the advantages of organic and local foods and why does it seem to cost so much?
– Organic farming is much more labor intensive due to the use of natural gardening methods that in the end result in healthier soil that give you better nutrition and doesn’t poison your water and air.
– Organic farms are typically smaller in scale than conventional farms and do not benefit from federal subsidies as do many of their conventional and larger counterparts. This could change.
– Remember every dollar you spend on organic and locally produced food is a vote for improved food quality and helping to protect your environment!
the higher costs of organic at the present time result from more farm labor on a smaller scale and absence of federal government subsidies, but not, it’s worth mentioning, from lower yields. over time, organic production methods stabilize yields at levels at or above those in conventional farming.
while the cost you see in the market may be higher, organic farmers reduce the hidden costs of conventional farming such as damage to health and environmental damage caused directly by chemical use and indirectly by chemical industries.
How can I make the transition to eating all organic when it seems so expensive?
Identify the most toxic or altered foods and gradually replace these with clean, healthy organic food. You can slowly complete your transformation to a new, more healthful diet. Enjoy and congratulate yourself with each change you make, it doesn’t need to happen over night as long as you make progress you will succeed! This can be applied to a business transition as well, just be honorable about letting your customer know what goods are truly certified.
Explore the local food coops and farms in your area that have CSAs and some less expensive, more reliable means to purchase organic goods will present themselves!
Farm to table: Links to some of the local farms The Mark Restaurant in Olympia has the honor of working with: http://www.themarkolympia.com/restaurant/local-farms/