Diet and health concerns continue to make organics and locally grown food popular among a broad segment of the market, something that agribusinesses and farm equipment makers would do well to notice.
Physician Preston Maring's work with farmers markets underscores the confluence of health, dieting and green consumer attitudes in our culture. In a new cookbook, Maring lays out seven reasons why "everyone should use farmers markets as a resource for healthy living."
Maring, a practitioner for Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center, said he began shopping at local farmers markets 30 years ago and in 2003 he founded the country's first hospital-sponsored farmers market.
Kaiser Permanente now supports 30 farmers markets and farm stands in four states, according to the hospital group.
Kaiser Permanente's commitment to sponsoring farmers markets at its facilities has helped people eat more fresh fruits and vegetables - 71 percent of the attendees at Kaiser Permanente farmers markets were eating more fruits and vegetables as a result of shopping there.
"As a physician, I know that a diet built around fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables is the cornerstone of preventive medicine and a key to people's overall health," Maring said.