Weekly Green Tip: Eat Local

This week’s green tip is to eat local.  No, I’m not suggesting that you give up your coffee or chocolate. Believe me; I live in Wisconsin!  But if you increase your consumption of locally grown foods, you can save a bundle in transportation miles—and support the local economy as well.

Some of today’s practices are quite astounding.  One site  mentioned that the authors’ local crab that was caught in the Pacific Northwest, sent to China to be extracted from the shell then shipped back again for a 8000 mile round trip.  The chart below from Iowa State University shows other typical travel distances:

Table 1. Comparison of local versus conventional source WASD (food miles) for produce Produce Type Locally grown Conventional Source Estimation
  WASD (miles) WASD (miles)
Apples 61 1,726
Beans 65 1,313
Broccoli 20 1,846
Cabbage 50 719
Carrots 27 1,838
Corn, Sweet 20 1,426
Garlic 31 1,811
Lettuce 43 1,823
Onions 35 1,759
Peppers 44 1,589
Potatoes 75 1,155
Pumpkins 41 311
Spinach 36 1,815
Squash 52 1,277
Strawberries 56 1,830
Tomatoes 60 1,569
WASD –for all produce 56 1,494

 

Eating local is typically defined as eating foods produced within 100 miles of your home.  Easy sources of local foods include farmer’s market, community supported agriculture and, if you are ambitious, gardening.  Your supermarket may even mark foods as local. 

For sources, see the Local Harvest Website.

One thought on “Weekly Green Tip: Eat Local

  1. Pingback: Weekly Food Tip: Buy a Salad Spinner (or Two) « Art of Natural Living

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