We get many travelers looking for a farm to table vacation or a cooking vacation that supports sustainable agriculture. But what is sustainable agriculture? Sustainable agriculture focuses on the techniques used during the production of food, animals, fiber or other plant products to protect the environment, human communities, animal welfare, and public health.
The farm of one of our favorite chefs in Puglia, Peppe, embodies the idea of sustainable agriculture. He believes that food is more than just food, but also nature and culture. These values are seen throughout his work as a farmer, chef and in his community outreach projects teaching local children about the importance of healthy eating.
Farm to Table
As a farmer and chef, he treats his animals with care and respect. Peppe implements livestock practices that protect animals’ health and wellbeing — he raises livestock on pasture, which enables his chickens, ducks, turkeys, donkeys and pigs to move freely, engage in instinctive behaviors, consume a natural diet, and avoid the stress and illness associated with confinement. A big highlight of our visit was meeting the animals and feeding them vegetable scraps from the farm. It was reassuring to see how well taken care of the animals were.
Peppe told me that he decided to return to Italy after having spent his early years in New York City and Mexico because he wanted to “give back to his land the pride it deserves.” That he did! After visiting his farm, I believe that we can all live a healthier, more sustainable life if we respect the earth and appreciate its natural cycles by eating seasonably and locally. As Peppe puts it, “simple food for intelligent people.”
By Darlene Pereda
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