As an editor at the Tampa Bay Times, Stephanie Hayes oversees the company's lifestyle writers, including Laura Reiley, food critics at the Times since 2007. Laura recently shook up the food scene with her investigation of the farm-to-table trend.
Laura Reiley and Stephanie Hayes are being honored at the LocalShops1 Community Awards, which take place 4-7 pm Sunday, Aug. 14, at the Vinoy Resort in downtown St. Petersburg. Laura Reiley, however, is not able to attend, to preserve her anonymity.
Laura "combed through hundreds of menus from Tampa Bay restaurants, identifying those that made specific claims, and then she investigated those claims," according to the report in the Times. "She visited farms, spoke with distributors and had foods genetically tested when deemed necessary. When she found discrepancies or misrepresentations at restaurants, she gave chefs and restaurateurs the opportunity to explain."
After pointing out the discrepancies, many of the restaurants changed their menus to more accurately reflect what they are selling. The Farm to Fable series also drew nationwide attention, spurring similar investigations around the country. The series helped consumers better understand the values and costs of eating locally grown foods, and helped raise the profile of local restaurants that are doing things right.
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