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The County in Every State With the Best Fruit and Vegetable Access

14/10/2016.
While much research has been done on “food deserts” — or regions of the country in which people must travel long distances in order to purchase healthy food — people often forget about the places in the U.S. that have an abundance of food choices.

Using data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the experts at HealthGrove, a health research site from Graphiq, found the county in every state with the best access to fruits and vegetables.

These parts of the country have the smallest percentages of people who have to travel far distances to get to a grocery store. Far is quantified as greater than one mile for urban areas and greater than 10 miles for rural areas.

In the context of healthy food accessibility, it is important to note the distinction between grocery stores and convenience stores. Grocery stores are typically part of national chains and sell perishable items, such as produce and meat, as well as many brand-name foods. Convenience stores often sell a limited selection of high-convenience items such as toiletries, soft drinks and microwavable or prepared foods in addition to gasoline.

Though many areas have a plethora of convenience stores, and consequently some variety of food options, if these regions lack real grocery stores, they likely fall into the category of “food desert.”

With that in mind, here is a list of the county in every state with the best access to grocery stores, and therefore fruit and vegetables. The list is ordered alphabetically, and if there is more than one county with a perfect score in a state, they are all listed.