The number of farmers markets grew significantly in the last year, according to statistics released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and GE Appliances is releasing new appliances designed to facilitate Americans' interest in using more fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats.
The USDA began publishing the National Directory of Farmers Markets in 1994, when there were 1755 such markets. In 2009 there were 5274 farmers markets; that number grew 16%, to 6132 markets, in the report released by the USDA on August 4, 2010.
GE is supporting the fresh food movement with its recently released ClimateKeeper2 dual-evaporator refrigeration system and the soon-to-launch My Pyramid addition to its microwaves.
The My Pyramid button is being added to the convenience menus of microwaves available in fall 2010.
“For the most part, convenience buttons have historically been tied to unhealthy food choices,” says Jonathan Bostock, product manager, GE Global Products. “GE’s new addition will help consumers focus on healthy eating strategies.”
The button gives users a preset time and power level to cook vegetables, such as asparagus and broccoli.
GE points to a November 2009 study that reports about 40% of the food bought by Americans is thrown out ("The Progressive Increase of Food Waste in America and its Environmental Impact, Nov. 2009, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases).
If an average family of four spends $170 a week on food that adds up to $3500 wasted in a year.
GE said its appliances are designed to make fresh produce more appealing, convenient, and economical to use. The side-by-side refrigerators' dual-evaporator system is designed to create ideal conditions for maintaining food freshness and waste less. Different climates are created by the system: a humid fresh-food compartment to retain food moisture and a more arid freezer side to reduce freezer defrost cycles.
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