There’s a growing desire among many Americans to have a closer connection to the food they eat, and one place where that connection is fostered is the local farmers’ market.
The USDA’s Economic Research Service tracks multiple aspects of how food is produced and consumed in the United States. They recently made a chart showing how the number of farmers’ markets in the U.S. has more than quadrupled since the mid-nineties:
In their blog post showing the chart, the USDA points out that “t
he growing number of farmers’ markets could reflect increased demand for local and regional food products based on consumer perceptions of their freshness and quality, support for the local economy, environmental benefits, or other perceived attributes relative to food from traditional marketing channels.”
The USDA also makes available lots of data on how food is produced and consumed in different parts of the country. Here’s a map showing where those farmers’ markets are, based on 2013 data, the most recent available. Farmers’ markets are pretty widespread throughout the country, with the greatest concentrations in the Northeast, the West Coast, and other urban areas:
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