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(article, Caroline Cummins)
In early April, we ran a story about the changing grocery store that mentioned New Seasons, a local chain (for us here in Portland, that is) that slaps a Home Grown label on all of its locally produced goods, of which there are many — a full one-third of its products. Now our regional daily, the Oregonian, has reported that national chains are doing the same. The article discusses the new emphasis on going local (well, within a six- or seven-hour driving radius) as an economic response to Wal-Mart: bq. "With Wal-Mart barging into the lower-end organic sales, this is a way these other retailers can differentiate from what Wal-Mart is doing," said Dan Hobbs, a cooperative development specialist with the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union. Both the Wild Oats and the Whole Foods grocery chains tout their local food sourcing, although Whole Foods' recent takeover of Wild Oats means that the two companies will soon be one and the same. Still, it's nice to see that a combination of consumer and economic pressure can actually produce local change on a national scale.