Future of Eating Local
The rise of farmers' markets and the local food movement has created a dramatic shift in American tastes. Consumers increasingly are seeking out the seasonal fresh foods grown on local farms rather than those trucked to supermarkets from a thousand miles away. And these are just ordinary people who have become informed about their food choices and care about small farmers. Local food integrates production, processing, distribution and consumption on a small scale, creating sustainable local economies and a strong connection between farm and table.
The result of all this local eating has gradually increased the number of small farms, which were declining for more than a century! Once, the average age of a farmer was 60 years old! Children did not want to take over the farm from parents, but now small farms have increased by 20% over the last 15 to 20 years!
Heirloom varieties of fruits and vegetables have been rediscovered and are very popular at farmers' markets and specialty stores because of their amazing flavor. Grass-fed beef and pork and free-range chickens have steadily risen in importance for health reasons and for humane treatment of animals. The Eat Local Food Movement will have a tendency to go mainstream with large supermarkets claiming to have local produce, and that's fine as long as the claim is true. Be sure to shop your farmers' market for real local food and other local products. Visit Slow Food USA for more information.