Picture the produce in your crisper right now. Without taking a peek, do you know where those onions were grown? What about that eggplant? And where does that frozen cauliflower get bagged?
Unless we're buying from a farmers' market, most of us don't pay much attention to where our food grows--in walking down the supermarket aisles we look for the reddest, crispest bell pepper, without always noting its origin. But minimizing food miles is one of the easiest ways to protect the planet. The shorter the distance your food travels, the less energy was expended in getting it to your shopping cart. Plus, buying local supports the farmers in your own area.
Which foods usually travel the farthest? Food and Water Watch has an interactive website, the Global Grocer, that tells you all about your fruits and veggies--where commonly purchased produce comes from, what percentage is imported, and how much that number has climbed in recent years. (For example, more than 75 percent of frozen cauliflower in American markets isn't grown in the States--it's often shipped from Mexico, Guatemala and China.)
While a bit didactic, the site can be a real eye-opener, showing us just how far we ship our everyday staples. Definitely food for thought.
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