Many American towns put the "Closed" sign up by 6 p.m. But night markets are drawing people out in Minnesota, Oklahoma and Virginia, with food, art and music from the local community.
The model for the nocturnal markets is the Asian night market, where people eat, shop and socialize and tourists discover delicacies like live scorpions and roasted sea horse until the wee hours of the morning.
Night Market Philadelphia, a roving festival, attracts 25,000 people to diverse city neighborhoods after dark. Vendors offer tastes of the Philadelphia food scene, with salsa dancing and body painting on the side. The market has brought new vitality and revenue to the city, says market director Diana Minkus.
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Cooking Light Magazine
“[Headhouse Farmers Market] is a very well-managed market with a great balance of truly committed vendors: meats, sustainable fish, fresh produce, coffee. I can just about fully live off that market and just buy toothpaste somewhere else.” —Chef Aimee Olexy, Talula’s Garden, Philadelphia, PA
Women's Health Magazine
According to the USDA, an estimated total of 13.6 million Americans live in areas that are considered food deserts, and a recent study that examined social media posts about food suggests that a person’s proximity to a healthy food store does impact the healthiness of their meals—the researchers found that only 33 percent of posts from people in food deserts mention fruits and vegetables, compared with 48 percent of posts from people in non-food deserts.
“The challenges for families that lack access to healthy food are vast,” Gabriella Mora, a Senior Associate in Policy and Government Affairs at The Food Trust, tells WomensHealthMag.com. “Imagine a scenario where a single, working mom with young children and no car is having to take two buses and a train and travel an hour each way just to get to the closest grocery store. That’s actually a pretty common scenario, and that inequity creates a lot of barriers to making healthy food choices, since it’s likely much simpler to get to something that’s closer by, but an unhealthy food choice.”
“For a lot of kids,” she adds, “it’s way easier to get a grape soda than a handful of grapes, or an orange soda than an actual orange.”
The Food Trust, which was founded in Philadelphia in 1992, specializes in bringing healthy food access to underserved populations throughout the country. Mora works as a policy advocate for the Healthy Food Financing Initiative, which provides financial incentives for businesses to open in healthy food stores in underserved areas, and is a key component of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign, which aims to lower childhood obesity rates.
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