Friday, March 07, 2014

Getting Food to The People

Whatever happened to the veggie truck and the bakery truck?  An older relative of mine who used to live in the DC suburbs before the war (WWII that is) remembers being able to buy fresh vegetables from a truck and bakery goods from another truck.  I assume such service couldn't withstand the restrictions on driving during WWII and the competition from supermarkets after the war.  But maybe not.  The milkman continued to deliver in my semi-rural area even into the early '50's, and a Good Humor truck has made occasional appearances in  my Reston cul-de-sac within living memory.

I do see the food movement as trying to take us back to the 1920's, the time when farmers grew a variety of crops, there were farmers markets in cities, and nobody was obese (except William Howard Taft, Chief Justice and ex-President).  Or maybe it's a matter of the pendulum swinging: from variety to standardization and uniformity and then back again.  Certainly technology is enabling a lot of new services: car sharing, room sharing, even toilet sharing (see here).  No reason it couldn't be adapted to support delivery routes and other niche marketing devices for farm produce.

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