Our Food Philosophy


Food Fight Video”, posted with vodpod

Food should be fun, wholesome, simple, vibrant and above all, delightful. We like a plate that is diverse in texture, color and flavor, like the personalities that dine at our cafe. We like our food chopped small so we can experience a dance party in every bite. We like to feel energized and satisfied by what we eat. We take pleasure in voting with our fork, knowing that we make food choices that are more supportive of the wellness of people, planet and critters than a majority of the alternatives out there. We love good food, and more importantly, we love to share our food with friends.

Along the way, we’ve discovered some important things about our connection to food that help us achieve the ideal meal. We hope our observations give you something to ponder in your own approach to food.

Degrees of Connection

When we think about food we ponder these questions:

  • Who is the grower?
  • Where was it grown & processed (and what were the processing techniques)?
  • When was this grown and picked? Is this in season? What degree of ripeness are we consuming? How fresh is it?
  • What interference has this had from man in the form of chemicals, genetic manipulation, flavor “enhancers” like sugar and additives, or preparation methods that decrease the life force of the food?
  • Which life forms (people, animals, eco-system) were involved in the production, manufacture and distribution and were they treated fairly, respectfully and compassionately?

At Dandelion, we make sustainable strides in our sourcing, taking what is possible now and putting that into the happy hands of our tribe who make your meals with love.

We struggle to answers questions like “Is locally produce grown with chemicals better than an organic equivalent grown somewhere else?” The answer would depend… on the answers to who, what, why, when, where  and which for each alternative. Below are some areas we focus on in the cafe when we are sourcing the ingredients we use.

The Ideal Meal

Thanksgiving at the Cafe
Thanksgiving at the Cafe

The most nutritious and delightful meal we could eat would involve a potluck dinner with friends that included selections out of each of our organic gardens. The produce used would vary in color and variety, uniquely suited for the climate in our area, and harvested at the pinnacle of ripeness. These foods would be minimally prepared with love as over-seasoning or cooking would detract from the flavor bursting from nature.

We would relish the company, delight in the diversity of food our friends passionately grew for this special occasion, and the discussion would contain ooh’s and ahh’s as we each sampled each others harvest. It might include some farmers market or natural food store purchases like artisan organic tempeh, local raw goat cheese, fair trade organic rice and domestic organic olive oil and wine to round it out.

Making Strides

In some parts of the country, and in many parts of the world this is not just possible, it is a way of life. In Central Florida, we’ve got a little bit of work to do to make this an everyday reality, but we can still strive for this in our meal planning as we begin the important work of planting gardens in our backyards and supporting the efforts of a sustainable local food system.

For a lot of people, including our idealistic vision for the cafe, making choices on a sliding scale that reaches upward is what we do. Paying attention to proximity – to nature, to yourself, to time, to people, and most importantly to your own body & it’s reaction’s – can help guide our nutritional needs.

Resources

Please feel free to add your comments and recommendations below.

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