California chefs -- think Alice Waters and Suzanne Goin -- have led the way in using seasonal, locally-sourced ingredients, practically inventing the concept of "California cuisine" in the process.
And so it's surprising to learn that our state placed a miserable 42nd of 51 in a national index ranking accessibility and dedication to local food.
In fact, the Golden State trails behind everyone from Alaska to New Mexico to the District of Columbia, according to Strolling of the Heifers. California did score above Nevada, Texas and Arizona -- but it's not like anyone has ever bothered to brag about beating Arizona.
The local food advocacy group gathered data on sources for local food, like farmers markets, consumer-supported agriculture (CSAs) and food hubs (facilities that help distribute foods from farmers and purveyors).
The figures were then measured in relation to state population. The data was obtained from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Census Bureau, and the local food resource directory LocalHarvest. The group believes that a number of positive developments like sustainability can come from locavorism.
Apparently, for the second year, Vermont is No. 1 in the ranking. Incidentally, Strolling of the Heifers is headquartered in Brattleboro, Vermont. Perhaps the fix is in?
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