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 Local

U of I Professor Says Review of Criminal Code is a Good Idea

Law Talk

Johnson says State's criminal code is confusing.

in Local

March Comes Roaring Into Central Illinois Like A Lion

snow1

The Illinois Department of Transportation is warning drivers about potentially hazardous travel conditions as a winter storm moves through the…

in Local

Local Expert Favors Net Neutrality

Internet

UIS expert says those without "deep pockets" will have equal access to internet.

in Local

Rauner Holding Fast to Reallocation to Get Through Rest of the Fiscal Year

rauner

The Governor holds General Assembly responsible for budget shortfalls.