Thursday, August 14, 2008

Growth in Local Foods

Here is a great article by GERRY SMITH of the McCLATCHY-TRIBUNE (8/13/08) about the growth of the localvore movement. I put an excerpt from the article below, but click the link above to read the whole thing.

CHICAGO - Last month, Lenae Weichel embarked on an ambitious dietary experiment: to feed her family for a year with food produced within 100 miles of her Rockford, Ill., home.

Inspired by a Vancouver couple who wrote a book on their ‘‘100-mile diet,’’ she joined a community-supported agriculture program, visited her local farmers market and started growing fruits and vegetables in her backyard.

Weichel, 33, is an extreme example of a vibrant movement of ‘‘locavores,’’ or consumers who try to shorten the distance between their food and its origin, largely from a desire to eat fresher produce, support their local farmers and reduce the carbon pollution associated with transporting goods. Only a few set 100 miles as a strict limit; others might just seek produce from the Midwest. But eating locally grown food, an idea once limited to hard-core environmentalists, is gaining traction among mainstream consumers. Already the movement has inspired a slew of books, prompted restaurants to use local food as a selling point and established ‘‘locavore’’ as the Word of the Year for 2007, according to the Oxford American Dictionary.

Nationwide, the local foods market was valued at $5 billion last year and is projected to grow to $7 billion by 2011, according to Packaged Facts, a publisher of food market research. By comparison, U.S. organic food sales were nearly $17 billion in 2006, up from $1 billion in 1990, according to the Organic Trade Association.

No comments: