Vermont sits in the #1 spot on the Locavore Index for locally sourced food

Nationwide, small farms, farmers markets and specialty food makers are popping up and thriving as more people seek locally produced foods. More than half of consumers now say it’s more important to buy local than organic, according to market research firm Mintel, and Deputy Agriculture Secretary Kathleen Merrigan called the local food movement “the biggest retail food trend in my adult lifetime.” But with no official definition for what makes a food local, the government can’t track sales. And consumers don’t always know what they are buying. A supermarket tomato labeled “local” may have come from 10, 100 or more miles away. Strict locavores stick to food raised within a certain radius of their home — 50, 100 or 250 miles. Others may allow themselves dried spices, coffee or chocolate.

Two of the more common standards used by locavores are food produced within 100 miles or within the same state that it’s consumed. A new locavore index ranked Vermont as the top state in its commitment to raising and eating locally grown food based on the number of farmers markets and community supported agriculture farms, where customers pay a lump sum up front and receive weekly deliveries of produce and other foods.

Vermont has 99 farmers markets and 164 CSAs, with a population of fewer than 622,000, according to the 2012 Strolling of the Heifers Locavore Index, which relies on U.S. Department of Agriculture and census figures. Iowa, Montana, Maine and Hawaii rounded out the top five.

Vermont tops the Nation with the highest Locavore Index

Corner Bakery Cafe expands to the Northeast with an anticipated 22 locations in Connecticut and Rhode Island

Corner Bakery Cafe, know for its signature line of grilled panini, freshly baked sweets and made-to-order breakfast scramblers, will open 22 new locations in Rhode Island and Connecticut throughout the next eight years.

The agreement, signed by Top Line Restaurants, calls for 16 cafes in Connecticut and six in Rhode Island, with the first location scheduled to open by summer 2013. The new restaurants will help boost the local economy in those states by adding more than 800 jobs into the market over the next eight years.

Corner Bakery Cafe expands to the Northeast