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Pitch: Reading Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma inspired former Google engineer Karl Rosaen to start an online, crowdsourced, nationwide food guide to enable users to trace food back to the farm from which it came. Individual users, farms and restaurants contribute information about—and photos of—ingredients, farmers’ markets, restaurants and artisans to the database.
Campaign: When the site first began, a majority of the listings were in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where Rosaen lives, but crowdsourced information helped it go national. The site continues to grow every day thanks in part to the impressive board of advisers, which includes Food & Wine Best New Chef 2011 Stephanie Izard, and author Amanda Hesser.
Success: So far, the growing database contains roughly 4,800 farms and artisans, 37,000 photos of foods and farms, and 11,000 menu items. realtimefarms.com