We choose where to live based on many things. Sometimes it is job availability, and other times, location to things we love. If finding a place to live based on the proximity of local foods is an important part of your life, then the Vermont local food advocacy group; Strolling of the Heifers has made choosing your state much easier.
They have once again released their Locavore Index; a list of the states in the country based on 4 data points, and how they fare for finding local foods. The criteria for making the Best or Worst on the list is simple. Using public information, the group then tallies the numbers and creates their lists. There were some surprises and other no-brainers on both lists. For instance, Vermont came in at number 1 on the best state to find local food. If you have ever been to Vermont and seen the lush, green grasses and beautiful organic farm stands, it is not much of a stretch to know that Vermont makes the top of the list for the third year in a row. Second is Maine, New Hampshire, Oregon and Hawaii.
The numbers come from 4 areas:
- Number of farmers markets
- Number of community supported agriculture or (CSA)
- Number of food hubs, facilities that help distribute and market local food producers in the region
- Percentage of school districts with farm-to-school programs
There is a bit of math involved, but all the states are run through the same criteria. The worst states also has some interesting states. Number one is Texas, followed by Nevada, Arizona, Louisiana, and Arkansas.
To find out how to find local foods in your location, contact your town office and simply ask. They would have a listing of farmer's markets and local farmers who offer food for sale.