Real Time Farms: Yelp for the local foodie
Do you use a service like Yelp to check out a new restaurant before visiting? Do you read other people’s reviews and maybe even leave your own? Most of us do (at least the former), but if you’re interested in the sources of the food the restaurant serves, you may be out of luck. Unless it’s one of those relatively rare places that promotes its use of locally-sourced ingredients, or even lists the farms from which it buys, you either have to ask a lot of questions or take your chances.
Like all good entrepreneurs, Karl and Cara Rosaen saw an opportunity in this gap, and created Real Time Farms to fill it. While the crowdsourced web service doesn’t appear to host user reviews of restaurants yet, it does get users involved in the company’s goal of “collectively [documenting] the whole food system.” Users are invited to join the site and contribute photos and information about the eateries they love as well as the farms and markets who provide their food. Restaurants and other food sellers (yep, even food carts and trucks) can get involved by sharing their stories, menus, and their sources of local produce, meats, and other ingredients.
It’s a relatively new service – about a year and half old – so there are still lots of areas to cover (nothing for my area, for instance – the coastal crowd’s no doubt thinking “Gee, Jeff, what a shock!”). It appears to be a strictly computer-only affair at this point (I can’t find any mobile apps). But given the sheer audacity of the company’s mission, I’m sure those things are coming.
Used Real Time Farms yet? Participated as a user, or even in its Food Warriors internship program? Share your story with us.
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