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

One-man band entertains Seattle airport passengers

Fresh
23-overlay2

This guy will brighten the day of even the most beleaguered traveler.

in Trending, Viral Videos

TODAY’S MUST SEE: ‘Dr. Evil’ on the Sony hack

Fresh
20-overlay2

Mike Myers interrupts "Saturday Night Live" to address North Korea and Sony Pictures directly about the hack.

in Music

Elton John marries longtime partner under new law

Fresh
eltonjohn

Elton John married David Furnish, converting their civil partnership after laws allowing gay marriage in Britain came into force this year.

in Music

This week’s top alternative tracks

hozier

LISTEN: This week's top alternative songs, according to the weekly Billboard chart.

in Viral Videos

WATCH: The ‘Force’ is strong with this home

11-overlay

If you weren't already excited for the next "Star Wars" movie, this house will change your mind.