This month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture compiled a directory of all the farmers markets in the country in order to help consumers locate those nearby in their state.
Users can now search for particular farmers markets by name or location on the USDA’s site. The directory also lets consumers search for the markets that accept alternative payments like food stamps and vouchers.
According to the USDA, there are now 6,132 farmers markets operating nationwide, but as the map above shows, the majority of them, ironically, are along the coasts rather than in the parts of the country that have many farms. So people in states like New York and California will have a much easier time finding a farmers market than those who live in the middle of the country in states like Wyoming and Kansas.
Farmers markets are made up of local farmers who sell fresh produce, which is often organic or naturally grown, and does not have to travel hundreds of miles, as is true with the products you usually find in grocery stores.
In recent years, these markets have become very popular as more Americans have focused on healthier food options. According to the USDA, the number of farmers markets increased by 16% between 2009 and 2010.
For more information on how to buy local foods and eat healthier, check out this MainStreet article.
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