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The Day's food in war and peace
([ca.1918])

Lesson VIII: [The use of locally-grown products and the developemnt of a nearby food supply],   pp. 88-98 PDF (3.2 MB)


Page 90

90 
does this figure include cars of poultry, eggs, dairy products, and similar
farm 
produce, much of which can be produced in greater abundance in nearly every
locality. 
It is, of course, desirable that as little interference as possible be brought
about with the shipment of war supplies, fuel, ore, essential materials,
and 
manufactured goods which are produced in great centers and which must be
hauled considerable distances for distribution. It is especially important
now, 
therefore, that any steps which can be taken to lessen the volume of freight
hauled by transportation agencies shall be taken. If the large number of
communities now neglecting their local sources of food supply cohild reduce
their demands for shipped-in foodstuffs by only a few cars a week, the railroad
congestion would be materially lessened. 
THE NEED FOR STUDYING CONDITIONS.- 
Although it Is easy to see that the development of a near-by food supply
is 
desirable for many reasons, it is not a simple mattr to turn the attention
of 
a great community to the use of such foods as are grown in the immediate
locality, especially a community which has long since lost the habit of depend-
ing on neighboring producers. The reasons for this, and the reasons why 
farmers often are unable to sell their products to advantage locally, vary
greatly in different places, so the situation in each one should be studied
separately. In many cities women's organizations are becoming interested
in 
bettering marketing conditions and are taking up the study of the local condi-
tions as the first step toward constructive action. The principal points
with 
which they should become familiar are the general system by which foodstuffs
are handled locally, the agencies engaged in the business, the services per-
formed by each, and the lack of proper marketing facilities, if it exists.
THE LOCAL MARKETING SYSTEM. 
If he sells locally, the farmer or truck grower may market his goods to con-
sumers (individuals, hotels, reĀ§taurants), to retail dealers (grocers,
fruit and 
vegetable dealers, hucksters, and pushcart men), to wholesale dealers, or
to 
commission merchants. He may dispose of his products by delivering or 
peddling them to his buyers, or he may stand on a public market so that the
buyers must come to him. Experience has shown that, in most cases, a good
wholesale or retail public farmers' market, well located and under good busi-
ness management, forms the marketing agency most satisfactory to all con-
cerned and tends to encourage the greater production and utilization of food-
stuffs grown near by. Such markets are simply conveniently located places,
usually established and controlled by the city authorities, in which the
farmers 
may display their products and customers may buy them. 
Although such markets have proven their value beyond doubt, a survey in 
f915 of municipal marketing activities throughout the United States showed
that out of 584 cities having a population of 10,000 or more, only 189, or
about 
one-third, had municipal public markets of any kind, and many of these were
so poorly managed that they were of little practical use. 
Where conditions are favorable for farmers' markets and where they are 
properly established, well managed, and loyally supported by both retailers
an4 consumers, a consistent development of the food supply in the surrounding
country should follow, to the advantage of both townspeople and farmers.
Another season such markets might furnish at least a partial answer to the
question, what shall be done with the surplus of home-canned goods now on
the shelves of many housekeepers. 


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