"As I’ve traveled the country, I’ve talked with more and more consumers who want a personal relationship with their food and are demanding to know more about it, where it came from and how it got to their plate," [...]The quote is attributed to Deputy Agriculture Secretary Kathleen Merrigan, whom I've interviewed. She had an entry in the USDA's blog on the day the administration was announcing new school lunch regulations.
The CNSNews article continues:
Merrigan says one of USDA's goals is to "connect" American demand for fresh, local food with producers who see that demand as a "ripe business opportunity."That'll be my excuse the next time I eat a dessert with a little too many calories. "But we have a relationship."
As part of the Obama administration's "Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food" initiative, USDA says it has developed a "dedicated Farm-to-School Team" and increased the number of farmers markets that accept federal assistance programs, such as food stamps. It also supports retailers featuring local foods as well as new farmers entering the local food system.
"But this is just the beginning," Merrigan said. Next month -- at its annual Agriculture Outlook Forum on Feb. 23-24 -- USDA will host a session on "making locally grown food more available."