Urban Farms and Local Produce Taking Over
Good news today out of Fresno, California, where a solid portion of the nation’s agricultural products emanate from. With more and more healthy and eco-conscious eaters on the rise across the country, demand for fruits and veggies that have been grown locally have shown similar growth recently.
How have researchers discovered this fact? It seems that the number of urban-centered farmers markets has been steadily increasing during the past several years as well, showing significantly larger results for the total number of new markets of late. According to a recent news item, “the U.S. Department of Agriculture will announce Friday that the number of direct-sales markets has increased 9.6 percent in the past year, with California and New York leading the way.”
More on: Farmers Markets, Finally on the Rise for Good?
In another tidbit from the article, USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan noted that “Farmers markets are a critical ingredient to our nation’s food system,” further mentioning that, “these outlets provide benefits not only to the farmers looking for important income opportunities, but also to the communities looking for fresh, healthy foods.”
And the numbers have been looking better and better for almost two decades, as it turns out. In 1994, not too many years ago, there were just over 1740 farmers markets across the country. According to the USDA, that number (applicable to registered farmers markets) has now swelled to a whopping 7,864. What explains all that growth?
Well, a number of new developments, and some of them pretty far-reaching. Organizations such as Slow Food (founded in 1989) was meant to instill a different paradigm, and to help eaters get away from habits associated with snack-binging and fast food joints. Instead, the Slow Food movement has lead the charge, demanding that consumers opt for fresh and local fruits and veggies whenever (and however!) possible. Thus, the rise in farmers markets, an abundant source of local produce.
Read the full story now: AGRICULTURE: Number of US farmers markets surges.
[Photo Via: greenermiami.com]