Cornucopia’s Take: Eaters are increasingly concerned with where food comes from, and farmers markets link us personally to the people growing our food.

Farmers’ markets play a vital role in America’s changing economy
Sustainable Food Trust
by Daniel Matthews

Source: USDA, Natalie Maynor

Drive across America today, and there’s one thing you’re guaranteed to see more of: farmers’ markets. The USDA reports the number of registered farmers’ markets increased by 2.3% from 2015 to 2016—and that’s just the ones listed in the National Farmers Market Directory.

This increase wasn’t necessarily expected. In 2015, Treehugger author Margaret Badore speculated as to whether US farmers’ markets had hit their peak. From 2013 to 2014, the growth rate was only 1.5 percent. But after that, the number of markets continued to grow, instead of stagnating. What is driving this growth? The answer can be found in the broader state of economic affairs in the US.

Sustainability and the DIY Community

There’s increasing demand for organic foods and ethical business practices, reflecting a growing engagement with sustainability. According to Sustainable Table, more consumers are considering the “environmental, health and social consequences of industrial food production”; as a result, organic acreage is increasing at an annual rate of 15%.

Read the entire article.

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