[Market-farming] NYTimes.com: Food That Travels Well

Bill Shoemaker wshoemak at inil.com
Wed Aug 8 13:51:08 EDT 2007

>"What happened to the good produce? Why is it that >our stores have only second- or third-rate stuff any >more, even at the height of the season?" 

Because it used to come from more local sources. Now, big-box stores want to reduce the number of sources because it gives them pricing leverage and more control over flow of product. That means they need it from sources that can supply almost 12 months/year. That means California, Florida and Mexico. So the products travel thousands of miles, are handled more, take more time, and respire all their goodness away before it gets to the market. The product is alive when picked but they just treat it like a commodity. I've watched many big produce farms in the Midwest disappear because they can't compete all-year around.

Bill Shoemaker, Sr Research Specialist, Food Crops
University of Illinois - St Charles Horticulture Research Center
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