Most broccoli sold on the East Coast travels from the West Coast, costing a typical $6,000 a tractor load. A team of researchers and agricultural agents hopes to reduce costs and diversify the food system by developing a strain of broccoli that can withstand East Coast humidity and heat. The USDA has invested $3.2 million in the initiative, and the researchers received another $1.7 from private contributions. They plan to create a broccoli-growing corridor going from northern Florida to Maine, where farmers will dedicate more of their land to growing the vegetable. Americans currently consume around 8.5 pounds of broccoli per person each year, which is nearly double the amount from 25 years ago.
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