The number of local organic farmers seems to be on the uptick every time we hit a farmers market, but, according to a Vermont-based local food advocacy group, our state is one of the absolute worst when it comes to eating locally. In fact, the only states worse than Arizona on the index are Nevada and Texas.
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Strolling of the Heifers released its Locavore Index for 2014, and let's just say Arizona didn't score too well. As 49 of 51 (with Washington, D.C., getting a spot on the list), it seems our state is a pretty crummy place for people who like to eat local. Over the past three years, Arizona stayed consistently in 49th place, with last year jumping to 48th place only to fall back again this year.
The index measures factors like the number of farmers markets, CSAs, and food hubs per capita as well as the percentage of school districts in each state that have farm-to-school programs. Arizona has 83 farmers markets, which isn't the lowest on the list, but the 30 percent of school districts with farm-to-school programs is pretty sad.
The top states to eat locally include Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Oregon, and Hawaii.