Kiko's Food News, 12.30.11

As Americans show greater interest in eating local produce, an increasing number of farmers markets are staying open year-round; the number of winter markets (defined as those operating between November and March) jumped from 886 in 2010 to 1,225 in 2011 (New York impressively edges out balmy California with the most!) (full story)

Get On the Shelf, the latest idea from WalMartLabs (the retailer’s in-house social media think tank, a product of their April  acquisition of data mining firm Kosmix) is a new product competition that invites anyone to submit a product idea to the retailer for development: (full story)

And speaking of more packaged foods on the shelves, Manischewitz, the 123-year-old kosher brand, is for the first time creating kosher gravies, broths, crackers and more that appeal to gentiles: (full story)

Craft breweries nationwide have been replacing beer bottles with aluminum cans, and for good reason: cans help beer stay fresh by blocking light and keeping out oxygen better than many bottles, are more portable than glass, and lighter to ship–plus, a canning line has a smaller footprint: (full story)

Livestock receives an estimated 80% of the nation’s antibiotics, yet in a step backwards for protecting the public from rising antibiotic resistance, the FDA just announced its withdrawal of a decades-old proposal to limit the use of antibiotics in animal feed: (full story)

Mark Bittman simplifies the goal of “eating better” in 2012 to “eating more plants”, and offers recipes to make semi-veganism work for all of us–bon appetit! (full story)