03/01/2016 11:23 EST | Updated 03/02/2017 05:12 EST

How Dining Out Can Improve Your Community

Over the past few years, the terms 'organic' and 'sustainable' have become buzzwords for health. But these words go beyond a person's health. Supporting local organic food and farming can help revitalize the economy. Community-based agriculture has the potential to create jobs and develop small businesses. Encouraging locals to stay healthy is the side job.


Vancouver BC is just one city that is booming with companies that are helping local farming prosper. Exile Bistro, a new Vancouver restaurant focuses on offering a menu full of locally sourced vegan, vegetarian, and game meat options. Unlike larger corporations, these new restaurants aim to source local food that is healthy and nutritious. Vanessa Bourget, owner of Exile Bistro, looks for ingredients that have a strong health component to them. She wants to cook with ingredients that will release as many nutrients into the meal as possible.

When looking for fresh ingredients, Exile Bistro turned to the Vancouver community. The team looked to work with family run farms and organizations that helped promote sustainability. Their goal was to provide food that nature intended us to eat. Organic food provides you with so many different nutrients when it is not manipulated by man. In the end, eating food that is produced by nature, or a local farm will be more powerful to help your body fight against diseases.


Offering a sustainable and organic menu would not be possible without a direct farmer relationship. For Vanessa, being able to work with local farmers and the small organizations that bring them together has a positive impact on the community. These relationships bring great stories that you are then able to share on your menu.

The season dictates where the menu goes

When working with local farmers, you must build your menu around each season and what nature has to offer. Vanessa likes to look at a fresh sheet from a supplier first when developing a new menu. She then orders the ingredients that look the most fun and interesting. Each dish she creates has no structure to follow, it just starts off with trial and error until it is perfect. In the end, the Exile's menu always comes together and is full of color and nutrition.


The end goal for Vanessa is to make the customer not to feel full but to feel fully nourished instead after their meal. Vanessa wants the customer to be happy with what they ate and to understand that they are not just supporting a small business but also the community.

Local and healthier restaurants like Exile Bistro are helping people question where their food comes from when dining out. Asking questions about where your food comes from is the first step towards good health. The next step is to start questioning how each ingredient makes you feel. By looking for food that only nourishes your body will allow you to achieve a healthier lifestyle.

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