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Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Whether you are a foodie, a chef, a food stamp recipient, or all of the above, if you live in Oakland, California, you might be shopping at Freedom Farmers’ Market.

That might come across as an unusual mix of people if you’re new to the farmers market scene, but it's actually becoming the norm.

Over the past 30 years, farmers markets have surged in popularity. With a community feel, assorted selections of fresh foods, and sourcing from local farms, the farmers market can be one of the best ways to get your food.

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Firefox

When I found out I was pregnant in October 2018, I had planned to keep the news a secret from family for a little while — but my phone seemed to have other ideas.

Within just a few hours of finding out the news, I was being bombarded with ads for baby gear, baby clothes and diapers on Facebook, Instagram and pretty much any other site I visited — be it my phone or on my computer.

Good thing my family wasn't looking over my shoulder while I was on my phone or my secret would have been ruined.

I'm certainly not alone in feeling like online ads can read your mind.

When I started asking around, it seemed like everyone had their own similar story: Brian Kelleher told me that when he and his wife met, they started getting ads for wedding rings and bridal shops within just a few weeks. Tech blogger Snezhina Piskov told me that she started getting ads for pocket projectors after discussing them in Messenger with her colleagues. Meanwhile Lauren Foley, a writer, told me she started getting ads for Happy Socks after seeing one of their shops when she got off the bus one day.

When online advertising seems to know us this well, it begs the question: are our phones listening to us?

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