Tag Archives: increase

Farmers markets continue strong growth – 10% this year, 151% this decade

In the past few years, the USDA has started paying more attention to farmers markets. They now conduct a yearly survey asking all market managers in the country to stand up and be counted:

 

It’s safe to say that farmers markets are booming. They have more than doubled in the past decade (151% growth), and show strong growth every year:

  • 2011 – 17%
  • 2010 – 16%
  • 2009 – 13%
  • 2008 – 7%
  • 2006 – 18%

For reference, there were 36,569 supermarkets in the U.S. in 2011.

 

Financial aid per student has grown 37% (or $5,000) over the past decade

An interesting graphic from NPR’s Planet Money series on the cost of college. That’s a 37% increase in financial aid per student since the 2000-2001 school year. The increase is largely paid for by more federal loans, with smaller contributions from federal grants and private loans. Everything else seems unchanged.

 

Which baseball team has the most fans on Facebook?

If everything is a competition, then which baseball team has the most Facebook fans:

  1. New York Yankees – 5.9 million
  2. Boston Red Sox – 3.7 million
  3. Chicago Cubs – 1.7 million
  4. San Francisco Giants – 1.5 million
  5. Texas Rangers – 1.4 million

 

Data pulled from a great post on iStrategyLabs:

As we cross the all-star break, we decided to take a look back at how things have changed. What we found was a strong correlation between their achievements in the 2011 season and their level of Facebook fan increase.

Graphic:

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Modern world: Bookstores with cafés increase sales – those without decrease

As Independent Booksellers Week gets into full swing, the Booksellers Association has released figures to suggest outlets with cafés are likely to have higher sales than those without.

Figures based on a survey of 40 BA members reveal that bookshops with cafés saw a 3% growth in overall turnover in 2011, whereas those without experienced a decline in sales of 5.2%. Those bookshops with cafés also experienced a 2% hike in their book sales last year, in comparison to those without cafés which had a decrease in book sales of 4%.

“We want customers to celebrate their local bookshop and also we want consumers to vote with their feet and use their local bookshop or risk losing it.  Bookshops are social and cultural hubs and provide far more to communities than books and as such deserve and require strong action to preserve their unique role in British life.”

 

Source: The Bookseller - Sales higher in bookshops with cafés

 

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Simple summaries of the Affordable Care Act – aka Obamacare

A final summary of the major changes under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) (aka Obamacare):

- Kids can continue to be covered by their parents’ health insurance until they’re 26.

- Insurers cannot impose an unreasonable premium increase without justification (generally anything less than 10% is ok).

- Insurers have to tell customers what they’re spending money on, (instead of just “administrative fee”, they have to be more specific) and those expenditures are required to follow the 80/20 rule:

- No more than 20% can be spent on administrative costs, minimum of 80% must go directly to patient care.

- A new website is made to give people insurance and health information – healthcare.gov

- Any new health plans must provide preventive care (mammograms, colonoscopies, etc.) without requiring any sort of co-pay or charge.

 

 

More from this series:

Why nobody knows how to prevent obesity

The 2011 obesity report from the Trust for America’s Health just came out and the news is as bad as ever. Every state has a minimum obesity rate of 20% and not one saw a decrease, while 16 saw an increase.

“Twenty years ago, no state had an obesity rate above 15 percent.  Today, more than two out of three states, 38 total, have obesity rates over 25 percent, and just one has a rate lower than 20 percent (Colorado at 19.8%).”

“Since 1995, when data was available for every state, obesity rates have doubled in seven states and increased by at least 90 percent in 10 others.”

Now, those numbers are bad and so are the corresponding increases in diabetes (rate has doubled) and hypertension (20%+ in every state). But, the number that I consider telling is found on page 11 of the full report (pdf):

“More than two-thirds (68 percent) of Americans are either overweight or obese”

Or, spin it the other way and it tells you only 32% of America is fit.

Which makes this issue so tough. No one seems to understand the problem, solution, or even the struggles every individual faces.

The report itself provides little in the way of recommendations only asking for the government to fund research and education.

Here is the problem, as I see it.

Food is the foundation. If we are eating good food then all should be well, after all our species survived for 10,000 years as fit world dominators.

Which means that we are eating bad food, and so what is bad food?

Before we get to that it’s important to point out all the discussion around nutrition, physical activity, cooking and what have you. That is where all the focus is and I think it’s absolutely useless.

I compare it to flying a plane without gas. You can check the wings, throw a pilot in there, and even get clearance from the tower, but if you don’t put in gas (the right gas) none of that matters.

Bad Food = everything in the grocery store.

I know this sounds crazy, but the facts are there. Everyone in America relies on grocery stores for food and it’s causing 2/3 of them health problems.

How many more need to become overweight before we start to question the very fundamentals of our grocery store lifestyle?