Saturday, March 1, 2008

More on Local Fruits and Veggies

It turns out that it isn't easy at all to grow local fruits and vegetables for consumption in local markets:

Consumers who would like to be able to buy local fruits and vegetables not just at farmers’ markets, but also in the produce aisle of their supermarket, will be dismayed to learn that the federal government works deliberately and forcefully to prevent the local food movement from expanding. And the barriers that the United States Department of Agriculture has put in place will be extended when the farm bill that House and Senate negotiators are working on now goes into effect.

As a small organic vegetable producer in southern Minnesota, I know this because my efforts to expand production to meet regional demand have been severely hampered by the Agriculture Department’s commodity farm program. As I’ve looked into the politics behind those restrictions, I’ve come to understand that this is precisely the outcome that the program’s backers in California and Florida have in mind: they want to snuff out the local competition before it even gets started.

Read it all in today's NYT. So now, if we want to be serious about locally-grown items, we have to go to Washington first....


PS - click on the excellent pic that accompanied the article - the detail is worth it!

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