Study: Local Food Markets Gaining Popularity in the United States

October 18, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. support / səˈpɔrt / (n.) – the act of showing approval of something
Example: The people showed their support by attending the event.

2. conscious / ˈkɒn ʃəs / (adj.) – being concerned about something
Example: My health-conscious mother eats only vegetables. 

3. cherish / ˈtʃɛr ɪʃ / (v.) – to show care for something or someone
Example: I cherish my childhood memories of living in a farm.

4. produce / ˈproʊ dus / (n.) – fruits and vegetables
Example: My parents bought produce from the grocery store.

5. organic / ɔrˈgæn ɪk / (adj.) – referring to food created without using artificial chemicals
ExampleOrganic fruits tend to be more expensive.


Read the text below.
More and more Americans are supporting local food markets, a study found.

The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Iowa [AHY-uh-wuh]. To understand the growth of local food markets, the researchers examined the number of farmers’ markets, local food restaurants, community-supported agriculture providers, and food co-ops in different cities across the country. In addition, they interviewed 40 consumers and producers from a variety of local food markets in Iowa and New York.

Results show that more people are becoming consumers of local food markets, such as farmers’ markets. In addition, membership to food co-ops, or community-owned food stores, has also increased.

Findings suggest that the support from the people comes not only from the belief that locally grown food is healthier and tastier, but it also gives them a sense of being a part of something bigger. Aside from being health-conscious, people also cherish the relationship they share with farmers and other food producers. In addition, people who support local food markets—who are fondly called “locavores” [LOH-kuh-vawrz]—think highly of the people who produce their food.

Even though the study showed a growing support for local food markets, some critics are against it. A previous study looked into 26 local food markets in Bronx County, New York.  Published in the journal Appetite, findings reveal that local food markets are more expensive and have fewer choices of produce compared to regular stores. The study also claims that not all items sold in these markets are fresh and organic. In addition, some of the items sold are not fresh produce, but rather, processed items such as jams and cakes.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         In your opinion, what are the benefits of buying produce from local food markets over regular stores?
·         Did this article encourage you to support local food markets? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         Are local food markets popular in your country? Why or why not?
·         Do you think regular stores, such as supermarkets, affect the profits of farmers and local food markets? Why or why not?

October 18, 2015