Friday, February 29, 2008

We Are What We Eat

You gotta love a University town! Two days ago at UC Berkeley, The co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods, John Mackey delivered a multimedia presentation of the Past, Present, and Future of Food.
The presentation did a fabulous job of outlining our cultural trends in regard to food production. I love mapping trends. We can try to predict the economic growth potential of real estate investments based on such social influences. Property values tend to follow the ripple effects of basic city growth patterns. City growth patterns follow predictable trends. John Mackey outlined food production trends by mapping a time line of six different eras. What resonated in the lecture for me was the sixth era, Ecological. The ecological era is certainly upon us. In real estate this trend includes green architecture and building practices (both the construction and renovations of homes, see my post on historic renovations.) In the larger community, buyers are looking to shop locally and the availability of local ammenities has become more important than ever. (click here to read, A Hop Skip and a Jump in Property Values.)

The strength of the Bay Area economy can be measured by the luxury of choice when it comes to local food. Renowned restaurants and specialty markets not withstanding, choice is a privilege that can lead directly the better health of the population; specifically, through the availability of good local produce and quality packaged foods. In the Bay Area we have many resources beyond Whole Foods including; local farmer's markets, The Berkeley Bowl, Farmer Joe's Market (in the Laurel and Dimond Districts of Oakland), the The Food Mill (two locations on MacArthur Blvd. in Oakland), Lakeshore Natural Foods, plus Berkeley and El Cerrito Natural.

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