The growing demand for locally grown fruits and vegetables in the U.S. has grown significantly, as people are looking to go straight to the source to buy their food from people who have used farm equipment as part of a smaller operation.
The Associated Press reported that the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that the number of direct-sale markets rose 9.6 percent during the past year.
"Farmers markets are a critical ingredient to our nation's food system," USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan said. "These outlets provide benefits not only to the farmers looking for important income opportunities, but also to the communities looking for fresh, healthy foods."
The total number of farmers markets in the U.S. was 1,755 in 1994, but this number has shot up to more than 7,860, highlighting a move toward more personalized food consumption in the country. Though high prices had initially made these options open to a certain group of people, changes have helped to increase the access of the less fortunate to these stores, according to U.S. News and World Report.
"That means farmers' markets are open for business for all people at all income levels," said Nicky Uy, of the Food Trust.