8 Fresh Food Initiatives That Buck the Trend [LIST]

Fresh food does not have to be a mystery! These initiatives are making the food cycle as transparent as possible so that you know exactly what is on your plate.

Dec 11, 2014
Woman at a farmer's market

When was the last time you went to your local farmer's market? [Shutterstock]

These days, it isn’t only a question of what is on your plate, folks are more curious about the origins of their food, keen to know exactly where it’s from and how it was cultivated. Lucky for us, consumers are being heard and there is an increasing amount of local food ventures providing fresh food that can be tracked to its source. These eight fresh food initiatives are making the food cycle more transparent and significantly tastier.

1. RIPE NEAR ME

Ripe Near Me is a produce-sharing site that gives backyard farmers the chance to sell, swap or give away their excess harvest.  The idea came about when the two Aussies behind the project saw their neighborhood citrus trees full of perfectly tasty fruits that nobody was eating, yet local stores were selling the same product.
WHERE: US, Europe and Australia
ADDED VALUE: Users can search the digitized local urban farmer's market based on location and what type of produce they are craving. Taking it a step further, there is a subscriptions page that notifies folks when a specific growers’ harvest is ripe and available for pick up.

Screenshot of Ripe near me

Take advantage of delicious and free produce with Ripe Near Me. [Screenshot]

2. LA COOPÉRATIVE ARDENTE

This online supermarket is a co-op owned by 260 of its clients. It sells a wide range of products, from produce, meats, cheeses, cosmetics and household items, and even offers home delivery. Everything sold by Coopérative Ardente is either organic, locally sourced or Fair Trade.
WHERE: Liege, Belgium
ADDED VALUE: It only takes 100€  to buy a share in La Coopérative Ardente and become a collaborator and  part of the social enterprise. Since collaborators have a stake in the business, they’re invited to an annual General Assembly that discusses the progress and workings of the coop, so their voice really counts.

Screenshot of La Coopérative Ardente

This Beligium-based co-op is empowering its users. [Screenshot]

3. FARMPLATE

This online directory works with over 40,000 sustainable food businesses with a goal to make local food sources - markets, restaurants, farmers and the like - more accessible to foodies. This ‘real food’ listings site is easily accessible for consumers while boosting the business of real food professionals.
WHERE: All over the US
ADDED VALUE: Farmplate’s Glossary demystifies sustainable food lingo with more than 300 terms, phrases and catchwords related to sustainable foods and farming.

Screenshot of Farmplate

A fresh foodies paradise. [Screenshot]

4. VITAL CHOICE

The online seafood company sells sustainably sourced organic seafood from trusted wild fisheries and farms. Headed by Randy Hartnell, a former Alaskan fisherman, Vital Choice processes and flash-freezes seafood hours within harvest, preserving the freshness of the food upon arrival.
WHERE: US and select products to Canada
ADDED VALUE: The socially-minded business donates a portion of its profits to causes such as the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch, the Natural Resources Defense Council and Healthy Child Healthy World.

Vital Choice screenshot

The destination for sustainably sourced seafood. [Screenshot]

5. SKY GREENS

Sky Greens has come up with an innovative solution to deal with the limited farmable land in Singapore, by creating a vertical urban farming system that uses minimal land, water and energy resources. The green-patented technology grows tropical vegetables all year round in protected outdoor greenhouses, safe from pests and temperamental weather conditions.
WHERE: Singapore
ADDED VALUE: The crop production yield is five to ten times more per unit area compared to other Singaporean farms growing vegetables by conventional methods.

Screenshot of Sky Greens

An innovative fresh food solution to Singapore's lack of farmable land. [Screenshot]

6. HEALTHY CORNER STORES NETWORK

Many communities in the United States have been declared food deserts, as they lack access to healthy, fresh food. The Healthy Corner Stores Network is looking to change that, by changing the face of the neighborhood corner store – usually stocked with sweets and junk – into a nutritious one.
WHERE: In select cities throughout the United States
ADDED VALUE: The Network provides educational resources and tools to enable small-scale stores in underserved neighborhoods the chance to transform from junk food havens into fresh food paradises.

Screenshot of Healthy Corner Stores Network

Transforming food deserts in communities around the United States. [Screenshot]   

7. GOOD EGGS

This online grocery store for local food allows farmers and foodmakers the chance to sell their goods on the internet. Good Eggs’ users shop directly for their groceries,  which are prepped, packed and delivered to homes or special delivery spots.
WHERE: Bay Area, Brooklyn, Los Angeles or New Orleans
ADDED VALUE: Shoppers can buy prepared foods like baby food, full entrees and tasty snacks.

Screenshot of Good Eggs

Scrumptious fresh food awaits. [Screenshot]

8. GOTHAM GREENS

New York’s first greenhouse facility now has two rooftop locations and a third in the works. The greenhouse produces premium pesticide-free produce all year round, catering to local supermarkets, restaurants and markets.
WHERE: New York
ADDED VALUE: Gotham Greens is dedicated to sustainable growing practices, such as hydroponics - growing plants in liquid mineral nutrient solutions and without soil.

Screenshot of Gotham Greens

New York is fully stocked with tasty organic greens. [Screenshot]

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