USDA has started tracking the amount of local food being sold directly to consumers in the U.S.
In the first ever survey of its kind, National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) reports 167,000 U.S. farms produced and sold food through direct marketing practices.
The report includes fresh foods and “value added” foods such as meat and cheese.
Farms selling directly to institutions or wholesalers totaled $3.4 billion. Another $3 billion was sold directly to consumers, like farmers markets.
California tops the list overall with $2.8 billion in direct food sales, but Pennsylvania leads the nation in direct farm-to-consumer sales.