French Farmers Find a Home in Vending Machines as Nation Battles Over Food Prices

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French Farmers Find a Home in Vending Machines as Nation Battles Over Food PricesFrance is turning up the notch on connecting consumers with their locally grown organic food and French farmers in a throwback nod to vending machine style eating.

If you’re too young to remember automats, and I’m guessing you are, there’s still a chance to revel in this old-timey food-to-mouth concept. The automat was a pretty simple healthy(ish) precursor to today’s fast food. Imagine restaurants as giant vending machines with seating. This is the automat. You’d cruise up to a wall of windows filled with plates of food. You eye the window of choice, say with a steamy hot Salisbury steak plate (that’s what they ate back in the day, I’m pretty sure), drop in your nickel and pull out the meal. Voila. No ordering into a loudspeaker and trying to eat while you drive. (Automats are so kitschy there’s even a Google group for fans of automats in film.)

Now, the automat concept is getting a much-needed upgrade, in, where else, but the food capital of the world: France.

According to Vice, a café in the north-western quadrant of Paris called Au Bout Du Champ  (“At the end of the field”) is reviving the automat to connect consumers with organically grown fruits and vegetables.

While it may seem like a gimmick, it’s actually got a pretty important backstory, one that’s threatening French farmers. It turns out that supermarkets in France are no different than supermarkets anywhere else in the world, and they’re interested in cheaper food, which means foreign imports. And that’s taking a big toll on French farmers.

“The big distributors have killed small producers in France in the last ten years,” Julian, who began Au Bout Du Champ with friend Joseph, told Vice’s Munchies. “Supermarkets like Monoprix demand cheap prices for food but the fruit and vegetables are not fresh and are imported from places like South America—they’re terrible and it’s not logical. Every weekend, I go to my parent’s house for a traditional Sunday lunch and we always buy well-priced, freshly picked produce from the farmer who has a stall close to the road. In the city there is nowhere to buy such food.”

Now, at Au Bout Du Champ, the automat contains “organic fresh fruit, vegetables, and eggs sourced from the Île-de-France area, no more than 50 kilometres outside of the city,” reports Vice.

While local growers still set up shop at the city’s bustling farmers markets, the automat is yet another way to connect French consumers to locally produced food. And it’s quicker than strolling through a market, which as anyone who’s spent time in a farmers market knows, can totally suck away hours of your day. Especially if a vendor is sampling strawberries. And until French farmers can get more support from the country’s supermarkets, there may be more automats popping up, keeping the French-grown food in front of the French people, where it belongs.

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The post French Farmers Find a Home in Vending Machines as Nation Battles Over Food Prices appeared first on Organic Authority.

Original content comes to us from Organic Authority

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