Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

'Produce Police' Aim for Local Markets

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

'Produce Police' Aim for Local Markets

Article excerpt

CARMEL, Ind. - In the nitty-gritty underworld of bootleg veggies, the investigation often is pretty cut and dried - a California sticker found on an apple, boxes of tomatoes imported from Canada. But when the source of fruits and veggies at your "local" farmers market are not so clear, that's when it's time to call in a group of investigators - "the produce police" -who must determine the sincerity of "Hoosier-grown" produce by actually visiting the farm.

"The brand for farmers markets in Indiana is food security and food safety," said Ron Carter, who founded the Carmel Farmers Market, known to be one of the most adamant about enforcing strict rules.

"Locally grown produce is the key. When you start letting in stuff from Illinois or Michigan, that takes away from that locally grown branding."

Dozens of farmers markets in central Indiana offer Hoosiers a chance to gobble up fresh-grown melons, sweet corn and other favorites. And vendors often come dressed for the part, decked out in overalls and boots. …

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