local food


What Happens in the Next 26 Days Could Change Our Food and Farm Future

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

It feels like I’ve been thinking about the 2018 farm bill forever, but we may have finally reached the beginning of the end. Tomorrow, an unusually large group of 56 (!) negotiators from the House and Senate are expected to shoehorn themselves into a room on Capitol Hill to begin the formal process of reconciling two very different visions of our food and farm system.

What happens next will either help small and midsize farmers thrive, put more healthy food on the dinner tables of our most vulnerable neighbors, and invest in farming practices that prevent water pollution and build healthy soil for the future…or not. There’s also an unfortunate third option, in which the farm bill process fails completely, leaving farmers and eaters in limbo. Read more >

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Farmers Markets and SNAP: Thanks, New York…Your Move, Congress

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

This National Farmers Market Week, we have some things to celebrate. There’s peak summer produce, of course…I mean, who doesn’t like a perfectly ripe tomato? And now, we may be a little bit closer to a day when that lovely red orb is accessible to anyone who wants one on a hot day in August. But first, let’s talk about a crisis averted.

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Across the United States, Local Food Investments Link Harvest to Health

, Food Systems & Health Analyst

Earlier this month, we took a deep, data-driven dive into the state of food and farming across the US with the release of our 50-State Food System Scorecard. Although the country as a whole isn’t exactly the poster child for healthy and sustainable food systems (far from it), there’s a lot of variability in what’s happening at farms, grocery stores, and dinner tables from one state to the next—and we’re here to learn from it.

Of course, we couldn’t assess the food system without taking a good, hard look at how it impacts its end users: us. Read more >

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Local produce, sold through direct-to-consumer channels like farmers markets and community supported agriculture programs, is often sold at a price premium. But does that premium impact farmers’ bottom line? Photo: Todd Johnson/ Oklahoma State University.

Do Local Food Markets Support Profitable Farms and Ranches?

Becca B.R. Jablonski, Dawn Thilmany McFadden, Allie Bauman, Dave Shideler, , UCS

How many times have you heard that when you shop locally, farmers win? Families shop at farmers markets, school districts procure locally-grown and raised items, and restaurants curate seasonal menus at least in part because they believe they are supporting the economic viability of local producers. But do we have evidence that these local markets actually provide economic benefits to farmers and ranchers? Read more >

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Thanksgiving Dinner Is Cheapest in Years, But Are Family Farms Paying the Price?

, Food Systems & Health Analyst

Last week, the Farm Bureau released the results of its annual price survey on the cost of a typical Thanksgiving dinner. The grand total for a “feast” for 10 people, according to this year’s shoppers? About 50 dollars. ($49.87, if you want to be exact.) After adjusting for inflation, the Farm Bureau concluded that the cost of Thanksgiving dinner was at its lowest level since 2013. Let’s talk about what that means for farmers, and for all of us. Read more >

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