|The Role of Local and Regional Food Systems in U.S. Farm Policy|
Congressional Research Service - 2/16/2016. By Renée Johnson - Sales of locally produced foods comprise a small but growing part of U.S. agricultural sales. Estimates vary but indicate that local food sales total between $4 billion to $12 billion annually. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that local food sales totaled $6.1 billion in 2012, reflecting sales from nearly 164,000 farmers selling locally marketed foods. This represents 8% of U.S. farms and an estimated 1.5% of the value of total U.S. agricultural production.
|Consumer Demand Bolstering Organic Production and Markets in the U.S.|
USDA - 2/16/2016. By Catherine Greene - Organic food sales in the United States have shown double-digit growth during most years since the 1990s, and this trend shows no sign of slowing. The Nutrition Business Journal reports annual growth in the nation’s organic food sales has generally exceeded 10 percent since the downturn in the American economy in 2008. U.S. organic food sales approached an estimated $37 billion in 2015, up 12 percent from the previous year. The country’s top food retailers, including Costco, Kroger, Walmart and Target, have expanded their organic food offerings in recent years, and have announced initiatives which could further boost demand.
|New Studies Show Dietary Benefits of Organic Dairy and Meat|
The Organic Center - 2/16/2016. Two new studies out of Newcastle University have confirmed several benefits of consuming organic dairy and meat. The papers, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, show that organic milk and meat contain about 50% higher levels of beneficial omega-3 fatty acids than conventionally produced products. They also show that organic meat had lower concentrations of two saturated fats, and that organic milk and dairy products contain 40% more of the heart-healthy conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) than their conventional counterparts. Despite marginally lower iodine levels, organic milk had several beneficial increases in nutritional minerals and antioxidants, such as higher concentrations of iron, vitamin E, selenium, and carotenoids.