Locavore Index Ranks Best, Worst States for Eating Locally

LocalFoodSignThe Vermont-based Locavore Index is a two-year-old non-profit that gathers data, and ranks all fifty states and Washington DC by the availability of fresh, local food. The rankings are derived from the per capita number of farmers markets, local fresh food hubs, and CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) programs.

As it happens, Vermont is ranked number one in the 2013 Index, but, in an interview with Willy Blackmore, food editor of takepart.com, Index coordinator Martin Langeveld said there were “no rigged numbers.” (The key words are per capita.) Vermont is followed in the highest rankings by Maine, New Hampshire, North Dakota and Iowa.

Texas came in dead last, with Nevada, Arizona, Louisiana and Florida rounding out the bottom five.

Langeveld admits the rankings can be somewhat  misleading, as very urbanized states are at a disadvantage when it comes to measuring the availability of local food. For instance, California has nearly 1,000 busy farmers markets, the most in the country, but it is ranked 42. Also, there are many small, local markets that are unregistered and uncounted. The Index plans to  access more complete data and fill in the gaps in years to come.

The important thing, said Langeveld, is to get people talking and thinking about a better way of eating.

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