The Year in Food 2007

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Farmers’ Markets Not Fun Anymore

Farmers’ markets! Fresh air! Organic produce! Lovable, overall-clad country folk coming to the city to share their wholesome food with you, the sophisticated yet soulful urbanite! For a while the markets seemed to be on an unstoppable march to world domination, but 2007 may be remembered as the year when the craze for farmers selling directly to consumers began to hit its logical plateau. San Francisco, long on the cutting edge of the phenomenon with roughly one market per four square miles, experienced a lurching halt in the action as vendors started pulling out, citing oversaturation. While the craze continues to spread (registration required) elsewhere, it may only be a matter of time before other urban areas find themselves with too many outlets and insufficient vendors. Not that a glut of fresh food options is such a bad thing for consumers, of course. —James Norton

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