The International Culinary Center offers Farm-to-Table, a special immersion course that teaches budding chefs about the entire food production chain, from the planting of seeds to the plating of food. The International Culinary Center supports environmentally responsible and sustainable food production practices.
Sustainable agriculture practices work organically with the food products, soils, and pests to decrease erosion of the soil and control weeds, pests and disease. These practices work with nature instead of against nature in food production. The benefits of sustainable food production include less exposure to herbicides, fertilizers, and pesticides, thus preserving the quality of the soil and minimizing the chemicals in the food chain.
Some practices that farmers use to naturally subdue weeds and pests are crop rotation, which minimizes the spread of pests as their food source is frequently replanted, and cover crops, which involve planting a second crop, like clover, to cover the ground so that weeds are choked out from the primary crop.
Another sustainable agricultural practice is building local populations of a pest’s natural predators, some of which have been killed by industrial agricultural practices. The massive use of chemicals has destroyed some of the bird population that feeds on insects, for example. Another practice of natural pest control is biointensive integrated pest management, which introduces natural microbes and organisms, such as sterile male ladybugs, that fight pests.