6 Morsels of Good Foodie News
School lunches are improving; Walmart's into sustainability: Mark Bittman
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 23, 2011 12:22 PM CDT
A man shops in the produce area at Pacifica Farmers Market in Pacifica, Calif, Wednesday, March 16, 2011.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – Sometimes it’s important for a critic to drop the criticism and offer some praise. In the New York Times, Mark Bittman presents a taste of good news in the food world:

  1. Backers of better food policy are gaining real traction: The reauthorized Child Nutrition Act will improve school lunches, while the Food Safety Modernization Act will make our meals safer.

  1. Walmart is making a big push for local food, including doubling “sales of locally-sourced produce” and encouraging sustainable farming. And McDonald's is following the retail giant's lead.
  2. “Real food is spreading”: The number of US farmers' markets has increased some 250% since 1994 to 6,000.
  3. Urban farming is growing from Pittsburgh to Milwaukee, and city governments are supporting the trend.
  4. A new generation of farmers is on its way: Even though farmers are aging, nonprofits give “farming a new cachet of cool.”
  5. School food is getting better: It “may have more potential positive influences than anything else," and the USDA, for example, is backing a program to get chefs into schools. Some 550 schools are on board.
Read Bittman's whole column here.