The recent field trip to Whole Foods was an informative and delicious experience. As a frequent customer, I was happy to learn various facts about the store that I had not known before. In the words of Nicholas Martinez, the marketing manager, “Local products reflect the community.” Whole Foods makes an effort to sell products that originate within a 500-mile radius of the store. The grocery store also promotes freshness; pre-cut fruits and vegetables are not displayed for more than two days, after which they are donated to local organizations, like Roadrunner Food Bank. Whole Foods aims to inform its customers of its nutrient-dense products, with the help of the ANDI score system. The ANDI score system rates fruits and vegetables on a scale of 0-1000, ranging from least nutrient-dense to very nutrient-dense. By 2018, Whole Foods will require all GMO-laced products to be labeled. Whole Foods is an incredibly successful grocery store that has managed to feed and support our city’s community, while maintaining sustainability and organic practices.
above: The colorful, organic display of vegetables at Whole Foods.
After checking out various articles on the National Geographic website, I have learned more about food on the global scale. The first article I read was an informative piece about corn production yield. Within recent years, corn has become more sensitive to prolonged drought. Increased temperature is an attribute of climate change that has decreased the yield growth of corn. Corn is the largest grain crop in the world, one third of which is produced in the American Midwest (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/05/140501-corn-yields-drought-food-climate-science/). As global populations continue to rise, the demand for corn will continue to rise as well. However, if climate change persists, there is no guarantee that corn will be able to support the ever-growing population. The second article I read was written by a chef in Washington D.C., who spoke about the growing popularity of Farmers’ Markets within the United States. Today, the majority of metropolitan areas within the United States have established farmers’ markets. The spread of local food markets has enabled many citizens to bond with farmers, and know where their food is coming from. Many farmers’ markets have been established by FreshFarm Markets, a nonprofit organization that operates “producer-only” markets (http://theplate.nationalgeographic.com/2014/05/02/chef-jose-andres-on-farmers-markets/). USDA agencies, NGOs, and local events have also contributed to the growing appreciation of locally-grown produce, and family farms. As a matter of fact, 2014 has been declared the ‘International Year of Family Farming.’ 80% of Sub-Saharan Africa & Asia’s food supply is provided by small farms. Therefore, the expansion of Farmers’ Markets will hopefully serve the world’s growing population. In the words of the author, “Food is personal.”