If you are a keen cook then you can have a lot of control over the ingredients you use in your recipes, but what about when you eat out?  How do you know where the food you are eating in a restaurant or cafe comes from? The quickest and easiest option is to ask. If they don't currently have anything on the menu which is organic, local or seasonal (or all three) then the more people who ask, the more chance there is of it appearing in the future.

Also check the menu for seasonal options and, if it says the produce is locally sourced, then ask where it came from (you may be surprised by the answer).

Greater Manchester has a growing number of cafes and restaurants that are working towards the FeedingManchester definition of Sustainable Food, so check out the search option to the right.

Sustain a London based organisation with a focus on sustainable food and farming, have done some interesting work on eating out more sustainably, and have some interesting resources, guides and tips for restaurants who are interested in improving the sustainability of their menus and practices.

The Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA), a national not-for-profit membership association, provides restaurants with advice and support to help them navigate the whole spectrum of sustainability issues. The SRA site lists those who have been awarded the SRA mark (only 3 in Manchester so far).

In Manchester, the Truly Good Food  award, gives the customer an insight as to the quality of an establishment's ingredients, their attention to health, as well as their impact on the environment. Presently over twenty cafes and restaurants are registered with the scheme and a list is available from the Manchester Food & Drink Festival website.