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Here are my picks for some of the most significant food-related issues of 2009:
Gardens and Schools: Thanks to Michelle Obama, farmers' markets enjoyed a star turn in 2009. The number of school-based gardens exploded, too, and what was once a fringe movement has become mainstream. Organizations like Ecotrust are focused on bringing fresher fare into cafeterias.
Food and Farming: This stunning exposé on ground-beef production proved that our nation needs stricter food-safety controls. The film Food, Inc., also released this year, paints a shocking picture of factory farms.
Seafood and Oceans: I traveled to Cordova, Alaska, to learn about wild salmon and to the Sustainable Foods Institute in Monterey, California. Both trips underscored the importance of responsible purchasing when it comes to fish and seafood. For more info, visit Seafood Watch.
Print and Visual Media: Gourmet closed its doors, the food blogosphere ballooned and food-based television shows enjoyed increasing audiences.
And that’s just the beginning. Food continues to pique our interest like never before, and 2010 should be an equally exciting, and complex, year.