Good Tides Organic Bistro is so serious about making food from scratch, even their ketchup is made from scratch.

Now that’s some serious scratch.

But what does “cooking from scratch” even mean?

By most accounts, the term originated with sporting events. Some say it dates to competitive races in the 1800s, referring to a starting point, which was scratched into the ground. In cooking, making things from scratch suggests things are made with only the basic ingredients and nothing that has been prepared ahead or processed. So instead of using a boxed mixture, someone baking cookies will start from the beginning with flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking soda and baking powder.

There are many benefits to making food from scratch. For one thing, the food is healthier because it doesn’t include chemicals, preservatives, additives or other unknown ingredients. By using seasonal fruits and vegetables, chefs often use produce from local farmers’ markets. And many say food from scratch simply tastes better with more basic ingredients.

Good Tides 4Because Good Tides chef Alyx Gille knows every ingredient in her food, she can help customers with allergies know what dishes to avoid.

(Are you motivated yet? Check out some “from scratch” recipes here.)

Adding to the knowledge, all of the produce in Good Tides food is locally grown and organic.  Meanwhile, eggs come from Cal Poly, grass-fed beef comes from Hearst Ranch and chicken comes from Mary’s Free-Range Organic Chicken.

At a recent farmers’ market in Morro Bay, assistant Allison Harris (pictured above) sold a variety of goodies made from scratch, including brownies, oatmeal coconut cookies, fresh peach muffins, and peach tarts with blackberries.

You can find Good Tides at farmers markets in Arryo Grande (Wednesdays, 8:30-11 a.m., Smart & Final lot), Morro Bay (Thursdays, 2:30-5 p.m., Spencer’s Fresh Market lot) and San Luis Obispo (Saturdays, 8-10:45 a.m., World Market lot).