Winter Farmers Markets Expand

The number of winter farmers markets operating between November and March has increased 38 percent since 2010 according to the recently updated National Farmers Market Directory. There are now 1,225 winter markets across the US. New York state claims the top spot with the most winter markets (180). Read the USDA AMS News Release:

Middle Class Largest Fast Food Consumer

A study published in the Journal for Population Health Management declares the middle class the biggest consumer of fast food. This runs contrary to a popular belief that cash strapped Americans eat the most fast food. According to the study, members of households earning $60,000 a year are most likely to be found consuming this typically unhealthy food.

Access to Healthy Food Toolkit

PolicyLink introduces four tools addressing Access to Healthy Food in their Equitable Development Toolkit: Grocery Store Development, Corner Stores, Farmers’ Markets, and Urban Agriculture and Community Gardens. These tools address efforts focused on serving low-income communities and communities of color to increase access to healthy, fresh, affordable food.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Grades Students Poorly on Produce Consumption

A new Study from CDC estimates that in 2010 high school students consumed fruits and vegetables on average 1.2 times per day. The study also found that daily fruit consumption was higher among male than female students.

USDA: ‘Locally grown’ food a $4.8 billion business

A U.S. Department of Agriculture report states that in 2008 sales of local foods, both sold directly to consumers or through intermediaries like grocers, totaled $4.8 billion. It also predicts that locally grown foods will generate $7 billion in sales in 2011.

Review of US Farm Programs

A report released by AGree, an initiative designed to transform long-term agricultural, food and rural policy issues, provides a comprehensive overview of federal farm programs, their background, and the distribution of benefits. The intention of the report is to encourage a common understanding on the future of food and agricultural policy in policy discussions across diverse stakeholders.

Building a Future with Farmers: Challenges faced by young American farmers and a national strategy to help them succeed

A new survey by The National Young Farmer's Coalition of 1,000 farmers from across the United States reveals that access to capital, access to land, and health insurance are the largest challenges faced by young and beginning farmers. Farmers rated farm apprenticeships, local partnerships and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) as the most valuable programs to help them succeed. Read the report and visit - a tool to assist farmers and creditors to understand the new food business landscape.

Freakonomics Blog: Still Wrong on Local Food

In response to a recent post by Steven Sexton on the Freakonomics blog about the inefficiency of local food, Tom Philpott, among others, defend the local food movement and re-examine industrial agriculture and the current state of US food systems.

United Fresh: Produce Affects All 50 States

United Fresh launches new state-by-state profiles that show the impact of fruit and vegetable production nationwide, demonstrating that the fruit and vegetable industry has a tangible impact on the health and economy of every state. Also included in the profiles are employment rates, impacts of adult and childhood obesity and diabetes, and state participation in federal fruit and vegetable programs. Profiles can be viewed here:

Increasing Farm Income and Local Food Access: A case study of a collaborative aggregation, marketing, and distribution strategy that links farmers to markets

A case study, published in the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems and Community Development, on The Intervale Center’s Food Hub in Burlington, Vermont.  The Intervale Food Hub is a collaboration of small and midscale famers that aggregate, market, and distribute local products through a CSA program and wholesale.  The study reviews the Food Hub’s development, outcomes, and farmer and staff perceptions of successes and challenges after three years of operations.

Report on Community Supported Agriculture in California

A Report from the University of California, Davis on the characteristics of, and innovations in, CSA production and marketing in California’s agriculturally focused Central Valley and surrounding foothills.  The report addresses farm and farmer characteristics, farm-member relationships, economic viability, information sources, and emerging issues.