The best places to grow your food are no longer exclusive to the Big Three, according to a new report from Merrill Gardens.
With a growing demand for locally grown food and a growing appetite for healthy, nutritious food, the report found that many consumers want to eat more of their own produce.
“The most pressing need is for people to eat better,” said Merrill Garden Director of Agriculture Steve Sperling.
“It’s a challenge we all want to solve.”
The Merrill report, which was released Tuesday, is the latest in a series of reports by Merrill and other agricultural and agricultural research groups on food security and sustainability.
In the report, the three top three food sources were organic, wild-caught fish, and locally grown produce.
A third of all fruits and vegetables were wild-captured, according the report.
The report also found that consumers want a higher share of the supply chain.
Nearly half of all organic produce was produced in 2016, up from 38 percent in 2015.
The top five producers of locally grown fruit and vegetables are New Zealand, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
“What we found is that people want to buy locally, and we have to change the way we do that,” Sperlings said.
“People want a little bit more of a share in the supply chains.
That’s the way it is.”
For example, the top five consumers of organic produce are people who live in the northern half of the United States and are between 35 and 44 years old.
The highest share of produce is in the southern half of New England.
People who live farther south of the Mason-Dixon line, and live in states that are growing more wild-catch fish, are more likely to be purchasing their produce locally.
But the report said the top three are not a good indicator of whether consumers are buying local, as consumers can change the direction of their purchases.
For example in the United Arab Emirates, which has the world’s second-largest fish market, there was a spike in demand for wild-fish products in the early 2020s, and the share of wild- fish products rose to 34 percent in 2021, from 20 percent in 2020.
That suggests that consumers there were willing to pay more for fish from fish farms.
Sperlings said the survey found that there are many places to buy wild- and farmed- caught fish, including online, in supermarkets, at farmers markets and through a network of farms and other retailers.
“There are lots of opportunities to have a bigger portion of your supply chain, and you can do that through a small scale operation,” SPerling said.
And while the majority of U.K. consumers live in areas with good conditions for food production, that is not necessarily a good place to start, Sperles said.
Consumers need to be mindful of the environmental impacts of their production, particularly the impact on local animals and ecosystems.
“We also have to look at where the food is coming from,” he said.
That includes looking at the impact of the fish on the environment, particularly if it comes from a factory, a hog farm or other source that may be a source of pollution, SPerlings said, noting that the U,K.
is also known for its use of pesticides.
For more than a decade, the United Nations has been calling for the elimination of factory farming in all its forms.
“I am really excited about this report,” said Bill Rennie, executive director of the American Farm Bureau Federation, which supports the U.,K.
“A lot of people are going to have more faith in organic food, and that is really the only way to go.”
The report said that while there are plenty of opportunities for consumers to grow their own food, it’s important to remember that all the resources are not the same.
“Some people might be interested in finding a farmer and starting a farm, and other people might not be interested, and there is no single right way to grow food,” Spermlings said in an interview.
“That’s why we are asking people to look around their local community and ask questions, and then try different things.”