News

Once a niche, local foods becoming big business

Once a niche, local foods becoming big business

FARM FRESH:A growing network of companies and organizations is delivering food directly from local farms to institutions like hospitals and schools, eliminating middlemen from farm to fork. Photo: Associated Press

MARY CLARE JALONICK, Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Locally grown foods aren’t just for farmers markets anymore.

A growing network of companies and organizations is delivering food directly from local farms to institutions like hospitals and schools, eliminating middlemen from farm to fork. They’re increasing profits for smaller farms and bringing consumers healthier foods.

These so-called food hubs have helped transform locally grown foods into a bigger business with more than $25 million in federal aid.

The model is simple. The organizations pick up food from regional farmers and take it directly to city customers, along with detailed information about where it was grown or produced.

Since 2009, the Agriculture Department has upped its commitment to small farms and locally grown food.

It’s a cultural transformation for the agency, which has long been focused on the biggest farms.

Recent Headlines

in Viral Videos, Weird

WATCH: Passengers in Russia’s Arctic give airliner a push

17-overlay1

In other countries, you may be asked to push a car stuck in the mud. In Russia, it's a jet.

in Viral Videos

WATCH: The turkey production line

20-overlay4

Ever wonder how that turkey makes it to your table?

in Viral Videos

‘Friends of the Galaxy’ mashes up hit movie, sitcom

24-overlay2

If "Guardians of the Galaxy" was set to the "Friends" theme.

in Black Friday, Trending, Viral Videos

TODAY’S MUST SEE: John Oliver takes on Turkey pardoning

13-overlay5

The silly tradition is lampooned by the "Last Week Tonight" host.

in Music

Documentary on Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain to air on HBO

cobain

The first documentary made with the cooperation of Kurt Cobain's family will be released next year.