As part of CNN’s week-long series “Eatrocracy: Mind, Body and Wallet,” the USDA’s National Farmers Market Directory is featured in a unique way to encourage consumers to use farmers markets as a source of fresh, local and healthy food. The series showcases our database of more than 6,200 farmers markets currently listed in the USDA Farmers Market Directory with the social networking and geo-locating mobile application, Foursquare. The series debuted yesterday and will continue to run through the week on CNN. We’re thrilled to see several “Healthy Eating Badge” check-ins already!
“The USDA National Farmers Market Directory allows consumers to find the freshest and tastiest fruits, vegetables, and other products available in communities around the country,” notes Rayne Pegg, Administrator of the Agricultural Marketing Services, the agency which supports the USDA Farmers Market Directory. “It’s exciting that we are able to make this valuable information available in a new and creative way.”
For over 15 years, the USDA has been surveying the number of operational farmers markets in the country. In 1994, the USDA counted just over 1,755 operational farmers markets. In August, 2010, that number soared to over 6,100.
If you are a Foursquare user you can use the USDA Farmers Market Directory to find a farmers market near you where you can check-in and get a “Healthy Eating Badge”. Even if you are not a Foursquare user, the USDA Farmers Market Directory is available to anyone looking for fresh, healthy food in their community anytime.