Posted on July 8, 2010 - by

Silver Diner Gets a Little FRESHer

Local Beef Burger from Silver Diner

Guest post by: Liz Reitzig
Cross posted from Liberation Wellness

Ok, I admit it.  Eating at a diner kind of makes me feel like a kid again.  It brings out the Peter Pan in me—I won’t grow up!  But, with four children of my own now, it gets more difficult to justify doing things just for fun.  Sitting in one of those diner booths with the retro pictures and the cute jukebox at each table actually begs one to get a burger and shake.  But I can’t do that now that I’m grown up and “responsible,” can I?  I make huge efforts to feed my kids organic and local foods.  I buy grassfed beef and dairy.  I shop at farmers markets and I know most of the farms where our food comes from.

So imagine my delight to find out that I could have my shake and drink it too. I realize that being “responsible” is about being open and responsive to the circumstances and opportunities that life presents without always being rigid and following a set of rules.  There is one diner where I can have fun with my kids without compromising my food philosophy: Silver Diner.  They source their foods locally and even invite farmers to sell, market style, at their restaurants.  And to add icing to the cake, Silver Diner is now partnering with the producer of the movie FRESH—an inspiring window into the local foods move

Silver Diner has made a big splash recently with their new menus featuring “fresh and local” ingredients. It is a treat to find a restaurant or chef, who is truly committed to the entirety of the “local” message.  In addition to their commitment to “Fresh and local”, they are equally committed to helping children understand about food choices and where their food comes from.  Each diner has a TV screen in the lobbies.  These screens show clips from various music videos.  A few days ago I took 6 children (my four and a friend’s two) to one of the Diners and a music video on the screen captivated their attention while we waited for our table.  These screens are now also showing idyllic clips from the movie FRESH.  Young visitors to the diner, many of whom have never been on a farm, will see scenes from local farms.  These short scenes have the potential to convey the greater ramifications of food choices.

This inspiring film highlights what we can each do to increase access to fresh and local foods. FRESH graphically illustrates the contrast between the industrial food system and the “fresh” food system.  The film engages people about where their food comes from as it takes the viewer on a journey to several local farms that produce food for their communities.

Showing the movie trailer at Silver Diner has the potential to captivate a whole new audience as it motivates these customers to bring the movie to their communities. The film’s creators designed the film as a community educational tool.  Across the country individuals arrange screenings of the movie in their own communities (living rooms, churches, school, etc.) to significant response.  These screening events engage consumers where they are and inspire them to propel the fresh food system further forward.  With super heroes Will Allen—urban farmer extraordinaire—and Joel Salatin of Polyface farms, scenes from this movie are the perfect accompaniment to a fresh and local meal, and an amazing inspiration for all our budding super heroes.  It’s going to take all of us to encourage the rest of the restaurants to use fresh and local foods and educating those around us—especially our young ones—with tools such as this movie is a first step to transforming our food industry in such a way.

At Silver Diner, “FRESH” is not just a movie, it is a philosophy—a philosophy that is taken seriously because they realize their responsibility to their customers and to the producers of the food. Behind the scenes of FRESH, it is not just a movie, it is an inspiring invitation to a refreshing way of eating.  The partnership between Silver Diner and FRESH brings the message of “fresh and local” full circle so that children—and adults who wish they were still kids—can add depth to their diner experience.  Because they have chosen this direction for their diner, I can now responsibly enjoy my burger and shake with my children as we all sing along to “Puff the Magic Dragon.”  And unlike little Jackie Paper, who does grow up, today, I’m still a kid.

Action Items: What you can do to support Silver Diner in doing what they’ve started…

1. Dine at Silver Diner and let them know that you support their new practices
2. Let your waiter / cashier know how you feel about them showing FRESH
3. Bring FRESH to your community….

Have you seen FRESH? Please share your experience below.

About Liz Reitzig
Liz Reitzig is a
certified Liberation Wellness Nutritionist and a regular contributor to Liberation Wellness (www.LiberationWellnessBlog.com) She serves as President of the Maryland Independent Consumers and Farmers Association and Secretary of the National Independent Consumers and Farmers Association.  As a champion for real foods and farm freedom, Liz is the co-founder and partner in a farm fresh buying club and raises her own family on real foods from local farms. She is also a Chapter Leader for the Weston A Price Foundation.

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