UC Berkeley Journalism Professor Michael Pollan has devoted a good deal of his career to examining the food we eat in today’s society and the hazards of much of it. Four of his books are New York Times Bestsellers and have received many other accolades: Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto, The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals and The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World.
These days, farmers markets are springing up all over the place, from small towns to big cities. Locally grown food is booming, as shoppers invest more time, money and thought into what they eat. But not all is well in the local food movement.
As St. Louis Public Radio's Adam Allington reports, many of the farmers who supply local markets are barely getting by.
ADAM ALLINGTON, BYLINE: It's a chilly March morning in Elsah, Illinois, near the banks of the Mississippi. But inside Amy Cloud's greenhouse it's toasty warm.
Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 7:21 am
When Wal-Mart calls, Herman Farris always finds whatever the retailer wants, even if it's yucca root in the dead of winter. Farris is a produce broker in Columbia, Mo., who has been buying for Wal-Mart from auctions and farms since the company began carrying fruits and vegetables in the early 1990s.
During the summer and fall, nearly everything Farris delivers is grown in Missouri. That's Wal-Mart's definition of "local" — produce grown and sold in the same state. In winter, it's a bit tougher to source locally.
Within approximately the last twenty years, Missouri ranks among the worst states in which the gap between rich and middle-income households has widened. That’s according to a new report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Economic Policy Institute.
As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, we also take note of the report’s finding in which the gap between the very richest and the poor is even larger with the top 5 percent of Missouri households having an average income 11.7 times that of the bottom fifth.