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SyraQs: Farm-to-Fork founder expresses success through healthy choices for a 9-year-old

Editor’s Note: Downtown New York is full of vibrant, curious, thoughtful, smart people committed to making our neighborhood a better place. Every Monday we will be posting a quick question-and-answer session with one of them. Here is today’s interview, edited and condensed for clarity.

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For more than a decade, Marc Paulio has been on a mission: connecting local farmers with local restaurants and consumers. He’s the owner of Farm to Fork 101, a company that brings farmers, restaurants, and consumers together without middlemen.

Pawliw recently sat down with syracuse.com To talk about his plans to market in Tipperary Hill, how he is trying to change our view of food and how he measures success through the taste of a 9-year-old. (This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.)

Syracuse.com: Tell me about your farm-to-table process: how it came about, and where you’re headed.

Pawliw: I’ve worked in some corporate places, and a lot of them would tear up a bag and pour it into a frying pan and heat it up. Then I started working with mom-and-pop stores and realized that there really was culinary art.

You really wanted, I think, to change the way people think about their food, and in order to change it, you have to go to the heart of the problem. I started meeting some farmers and fell in love with what they were doing, and I wanted to become a voice in that.

How do you want to change the way people think about food?

When you go to the grocery store, everything is already ready and prepared for you, and you have no idea where this stuff comes from. I just want you to have the option to choose, to really taste the difference.

You don’t have your own restaurant, do you? How does this idea work?

I partner with the farmer and find a restaurant willing to let me come and host an event in their space. I talk to the farmer and say, “Hey, why don’t we buy a batch of food from you and show people that you can actually use all the food from your farm to make meals?” We put up a four-course dinner and do cooking lessons.

We recently started something called the Eden Fresh Network, where we connect with farms that go through our online platform and then redistribute them across town, to other restaurants and homes.

How much have you accomplished toward your diet change goal? How can this be measured?

How can I measure it? We’ve run out of events, so I think that’s a success in a way. We have more and more people buying through the Eden Fresh network. We have a lot of interested farms. I have a 9 year old at home who eats vegetables and asks for things like Swiss chard and broccoli.

What do you cook at home?

We make a lot of pork chops and loins, and he loves to cook mushrooms. I do things that are fairly easy for him to do. We have this thing called chicken taco where we just slowly roast the chicken, put a little bit of homemade sauce in it, and let it kind of simmer.

Kind of like chicken cauchori, Mexican style.

Yes a little. He loves her. Most of my food choices depend on whether or not he’s going to eat it.

During the pandemic, things have changed dramatically for restaurants. How has your business changed?

My business completely changed because restaurants didn’t want to put events in the restaurant. You know, with the staff and everything else, my job went from serving those dinners to what we’re doing now. We created a kind of food center. We have storage space in Tipperary Hill and we are building a market with fresh food.

All we have is all New York State grown. There are few things outside this spectrum, like olive oil. You don’t get olives in New York State.

We are not exactly Mediterranean.

No, we are not. (Laugh)

Is seasonal eating part of what you’re kind of emphasizing about? I mean, now is a great time to eat seasonally.

Now awesome. We are trying to figure out how we can extend this planting season and work with different farms. Some of these farms are hydroponic and some of these indoor farms are (grow) green all winter long.

Are farmers talking about the effects of climate change?

It affects them all the time. Even this summer, with such a big drought, the farmers (farmers) have to use more and more water. We think things will come and grow, and sometimes they don’t.

Will we see a difference in what we can grow here?

I think we are already seeing some differences. Now some of the things that used to grow just south are starting to grow here a little bit because we’re getting a warmer climate.

Can you give me an example?

Two or three years ago, peaches were good for only two weeks, and now we have a month and a half peaches that have all grown in the Geneva region.

I’ve heard criticism that the farm-to-table movement is somewhat elitist because it is more expensive. What do you think that?

If you think way back, it was all from farm to table, right? It was not a movement. But there are companies that deal with food and just wanted to lower the price. And there are government subsidies that come with it. People are getting smarter about it and realizing that things don’t have to be this way. It will be a little more expensive, but the more and more, it will become less expensive.

What are your guilty pleasures?

I can eat ice cream all day every day. I grew up at Pete’s Polar Parlor. Now I live down the street from Gannon, and that makes it nice.

Do you know a cool and engaging community member whose work and life we ​​should highlight at SyraQs? If so, let us know. You can email me gcoin@syracuse.com Or add their name and contact information to this Google Form.

We hope to hear from you, and we hope you listen to SyraQs every Monday. Follow our previous interviews with SyraQ:

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SyraQs: Haudenosaunee counselor uses ancient teachings to ease modern problems for SU . students

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