local foods

Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
10:00 am
Wed April 16, 2014

What You Should Know about Our Food System

Despite certainty on the farm bill finally coming down from Washington, Midwest farmers still face plenty of unknowns.
Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media file photo

Food doesn’t just come from a grocery store. Millions of farmers spend their lives producing the crops and raising the livestock that we eat and use.

So it makes sense: If you’re interested in what’s on your plate, you’re interested in what’s going on in the field.

With that in mind, here are four things you should know about today’s food system:

The new farm bill became law in February

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
5:00 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Vertical Farming: Towering Vision, Uncertain Future

Large banks of fluorescent lamps provide the spectrum of light that keeps the floating beds of plants alive year-round in The Plant Chicago, a vertical farming facility.
Peter Gray/Harvest Public Meeting

Farmers are making inroads supplying local food to hungry city foodies, but many producers are trying to grow more food inurban centers. City real estate is at a premium, so some producers are finding more space by using what’s called “vertical farming,” and going up rather than spreading out.

Growers across the country are heading indoors, using greenhouses and hydroponics – growing plants in a water and nutrient solution instead of soil and using lamps to replace sunlight. Vertical farming takes that to a new level.

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Talk of Iowa
11:43 am
Wed November 27, 2013

Iowa's Local Food Economy

Produce at the Des Moines Farmers Market
Jason Mrachina

According to regional food coordinators, there is no local food network like the one in Iowa. The connection between farmers and distributors is very strong, and the network continues to grow larger every year. Even so, about 80% of the food Iowans consume is from out of state.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
12:57 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Schools buying local produce, but room to expand

The USDA recently surveyed school districts nationwide to measure how much of their food dollars go toward buying local or regional products.
USDA

Iowa’s school districts spent six percent of their food budgets buying from local farms in the 2011-2012 school year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm to School Census. That means efforts to fill cafeteria trays with local foods have plenty of room to grow.

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Talk of Iowa
2:43 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

Shopping Local for the Holidays

Plaque from Iowa City's "White Rabbit"
What a Load of Craft / Facebook

In these days of one-click shopping, the idea of local shopping may, as nice as it sounds, be a little overwhelming. On today's Talk of Iowa, we’ll talk about buying locally grown foods for the holiday table and buying the gifts on your list from Iowa merchants. We’ll also look at the economics of buying close to home.

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