The Farmhouse Kitchen: Serves Good Food for Good Health
Jun 29, 2019 12:59AM
● By Gisele Rinaldi Siebold
Iced Blue Matcha Latte
Preparing, cooking, baking and serving clean, nutritious and delicious food at The Farmhouse Kitchen, located in West Reading, is the mission of owner Martie Samuel and her employees. They aim to be transparent about the food they serve, and they know the farmers and the origin of their products. Samuel is not afraid to ask questions and empowers her customers to do the same.
“We do extensive research to ensure that the food and ingredients we source are non-genetically modified [GMO] and organic,” she says. “We are also committed to sourcing ingredients that have not been subject to glyphosate-induced, preharvest desiccation––a practice that causes glyphosate to be found in foods.”
That involves the application of an herbicide to crops prior to harvest in order to speed up the drying process so the crop can be harvested sooner, kill weeds and expedite the growing or ripening of less-mature plants before they die. The practice is used with both GMO, glyphosate-resistant crops as well as non-GMO crops. “This pervasive practice is a game-changer in our current culture, which is why our goal is to be pesticide-free,” affirms Samuel.
“Sourcing local when possible is so important not only for freshness and enhanced health benefits, but also for the livelihood of local farming communities. CSAs [community supported agriculture] are such beautiful collaborations providing easier access and convenience to produce and locally curated goods,” she shares. “It’s important to us that you know where certain ingredients are sourced, and through that transparency, we are able to honor the hard work of the local farming community.
“Our meat, poultry and dairy are sourced from local farms where the animals are pasture-raised. Capitalizing on seasonally inspired ingredients for variety and increased health benefits is a must, plus it adds excitement to our ever-changing menu.
“Recent research indicates that people eat 60 to 70 percent of their meals out. Restaurants can play a giant role in the health picture by choosing better products,” suggests Samuel. “I encourage consumers to learn where their food is coming from.
“Our healthy menu helps people taste the difference,” she says. They use gluten-free, organic flour for their menu items, and the baked goods are vegan and low sugar. Purified water is used during preparation and served as a beverage. There is no microwave on the premises. Menu items are made one at a time when ordered to maintain freshness.
Customers can choose to pay $5 once to join The Farmhouse Kitchen’s “recycling club” and receive their beverage in a glass mason jar, complete with reusable lid and straw. “It’s similar to exchanging milk bottles like people did years ago by placing their empty bottles out on the porch for the milk man in exchange for receiving fresh milk in clean bottles,” explains Samuel. “Our customers bring back the jars, lids and straws, and we sanitize them for reuse. A clean jar and components are provided to each customer at the time of service. It has cut down significantly on our use of to-go cups and the amount of waste created.”
She is also researching reusable containers for food to reduce further waste. “We are moving in this direction because even using compostable or recycled products presents the problem of waste. Unless they are placed in properly-labeled bins and composted or recycled at waste management facilities, they can still end up in landfills, and that’s not okay with us.
“I am encouraged by the number of people that feel comfortable eating at our restaurant because they know we do our best to provide the healthiest food that we can,” shares Samuel. “They’re invested in their health, and so are we, knowing that clean eating will pay off in the long run.”