The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
For the fourth year, Strolling of the Heifers, a Vermont-based local food advocacy group, has ranked the 50 states (and DC) in terms of their commitment to local foods. The winners are in for the 2015 Locavore Index: the top four are Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire and Oregon. These states also topped the list in 2014. Massachusetts moved into fifth place (from 11th in 2014). Rounding out the top 10 were Wisconsin, Montana, Hawaii, Rhode Island and Connecticut.
Photo credit: Shutterstock
The index looks at the number of farmers' markets, the number of CSAs, the number of food hubs—all compared on a per-capita basis—and the percentage of each state's school districts with active Farm-to-School programs.This year's index includes new information from the Census of Agriculture, which "provides a direct measurement of the per-capita dollar value of food products sold directly by farms to consumers through farm stands, farmers' markets and CSAs," says Strolling of the Heifers.
The index shows that "the various policies at the national and state levels that encourage local food programs are having measurable results,” says Orly Munzing, founder and executive director of Strolling of the Heifers. “At the Federal level, there’s the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food program which helps promote farmers markets and provides grants for farm-to-school and farm-to-institution programs. Many states also have active programs to encourage local food consumption, and Vermont’s Farm-to-Plate network is a national leader in this respect. All these programs are good for farmers, good for consumers and they help to build stronger communities.”
Find out how your state ranks:
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Emily Deanne
Shower shoes? Check. Extra-long sheets? Yep. Energy efficiency checklist? No worries — we've got you covered there. If you're one of the nation's 12.1 million full-time undergraduate college students, you no doubt have a lot to keep in mind as you head off to school. If you're reading this, climate change is probably one of them, and with one-third of students choosing to live on campus, dorm life can have a big impact on the health of our planet. In fact, the annual energy use of one typical dormitory room can generate as much greenhouse gas pollution as the tailpipe emissions of a car driven more than 156,000 miles.
By Lorraine Chow
Kokia drynarioides is a small but significant flowering tree endemic to Hawaii's dry forests. Native Hawaiians used its large, scarlet flowers to make lei. Its sap was used as dye for ropes and nets. Its bark was used medicinally to treat thrush.
States that invest heavily in renewable energy will generate billions of dollars in health benefits in the next decade instead of spending billions to take care of people getting sick from air pollution caused by burning fossil fuels, according to a new study from MIT and reported on by The Verge.
Hawaii's Kilauea volcano could be gearing up for an eruption after a pond of water was discovered inside its summit crater for the first time in recorded history, according to the AP.
By Kristin Ohlson
From where I stand inside the South Dakota cornfield I was visiting with entomologist and former USDA scientist Jonathan Lundgren, all the human-inflicted traumas to Earth seem far away. It isn't just that the corn is as high as an elephant's eye — are people singing that song again? — but that the field burgeons and buzzes and chirps with all sorts of other life, too.
Humanity faced its hottest month in at least 140 years in July, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said on Thursday. The finding confirms similar analysis provided by its EU counterparts.
By Hans Nicholas Jong
Indonesia's president has made permanent a temporary moratorium on forest-clearing permits for plantations and logging.
It's a policy the government says has proven effective in curtailing deforestation, but whose apparent gains have been criticized by environmental activists as mere "propaganda."