Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

America Isn't Buying Its Food at Farmers's Markets, It's Doing it at Walmart

Food
America Isn't Buying Its Food at Farmers's Markets, It's Doing it at Walmart

By Anna Brones

You may think all the talk of eating local and shopping at farmer's markets is making a shift in the grocery buying arena, but if you do, you may want to take a step back and look at the big picture. While your friends, family and local community may be making a bigger effort to shop at smaller scale markets or specialty stores, the reality is most people aren’t getting their groceries at the same place. In fact, they’re not even going to grocery stores. They’re going to Walmart, Target and beyond.

Think about stores like Walmart and the first thing that comes to mind isn’t normally fresh produce; these are places that are known for processed and packaged foods.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

new study shows that it’s not the places selling organic quinoa and Swiss chard that are getting the grocery business, it’s big box stores, convenience stores and even pharmacies. King Retail Solutions partnered up with University of Arizona’s Terry J. Lundgren Center for Retailing and surveyed 1,200 shoppers, from millennials to baby boomers, and found 70% of them bought groceries from non-grocers in 2013.

Target and Walmart topped the list, but then came Walgreens and CVS. Farmer’s markets and food stalls came in seventh place, with a very small percentage in comparison to the big names at the top of the list.

Think about these types of stores and the first thing that comes to mind isn’t normally fresh produce; these are places that are known for processed and packaged foods. Certainly, places like Walmart do sell produce—in fact, it has committed to doubling its sale of locally grown produce by 2015—but its popularity only adds to the industrialization of our food system.

Some may argue that because of prices, these types of stores attract people with a smaller food budget. Not so. As it turns out, “the wealthier the shopper, the more likely he or she is to procure groceries from Target, Walmart or another of these non-grocers,” according to Forbes.

What are the effects of such shopping behaviors?

For one, it affects farmers. As Grist reported in 2011, ”Between 1990 and 2009, the farmers’ share of each dollar consumers spent on pork fell from 45 to 25 cents, according to the USDA Economic Research Service. Pork processors picked up some of the difference, but the bulk of the gains went to Walmart and other supermarket chains, which are now pocketing 61 cents of each pork dollar, up from 45 cents in 1990.”

Then there’s the question of health. While these stores may offer produce options, they are also right next to all of the processed, package options that we as a society need to avoid. It’s hard to avoid temptation, and temptation gets us eating food products instead of real food.

Are grocery stores and markets doomed? Maybe. Once again, it comes down to voting with our forks.

Visit EcoWatch’s FOOD and HEALTH pages for more related news on this topic.

 

Researchers have discovered a link between air pollution, food delivery and plastic waste. Sorapop / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) have discovered a link between air pollution, food delivery and plastic waste.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

One report in spring 2020 found that 38% of students at four-year universities were food-insecure. Frederic J. Brown / AFP / Getty Images

By Matthew J. Landry and Heather Eicher-Miller

When university presidents were surveyed in spring of 2020 about what they felt were the most pressing concerns of COVID-19, college students going hungry didn't rank very high.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Plain Naturals offers a wide variety of CBD products including oils, creams and gummies.

Plain Naturals is making waves in the CBD space with a new product line for retail customers looking for high potency CBD products at industry-low prices.

Read More Show Less
Coast Guard members work to clean an oil spill impacting Delaware beaches. U.S. Coast Guard District 5

Environmental officials and members of the U.S. Coast Guard are racing to clean up a mysterious oil spill that has spread to 11 miles of Delaware coastline.

Read More Show Less
What happened to all that plastic you've put in the recycling bin over the years? Halfpoint / Getty Images

By Dr. Kate Raynes-Goldie

Of all the plastic we've ever produced, only 9% has been recycled. So what happened to all that plastic you've put in the recycling bin over the years?

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch