A few months ago I was having a party so along with healthy options I picked up some mini cupcakes that I picked up in the bakery section of the local Fresh Market and everyone loved them. As I was cleaning up from the party I turned the empty cupcake container over and saw it was stamped "Product of Canada." I live in Fort Lauderdale FL that was a mighty long trip for a few mini cupcakes. It was not until then that I found out that it's not just fresh produce and meats that are shipped from all over the world. I also shop at Publix and while the frozen broccoli was an American product the frozen spinach came from Mexico. I was always so proud of myself because I always check to see where the fresh produce comes from I never thought that a FL corporation would have their store brand or something produced so far away and apparently some of the big brands do it too. I used to buy frozen because it's cheaper and more convenient but not anymore. I don't eat fish anymore unless I go to the fish market that I KNOW gets it fresh off the boats and now I go the local green grocer for my locally grown produce .
An addendum to the article: another alternative is to start (or patronize) a food co-op, a process I'm involved with here in the NW suburbs of Illinois. Close to 500 people have shown an interest, & we are moving forward to start a store-front co-op somewhere in McHenry County by May of 2015.
11/26/2013 4:11:41 PM
I produce local beef; raise and sell it without added hormones or antibiotics. It costs more to raise it that way. I advertise in local papers, "family farm raised, corn-fed beef." I have a complete satisfaction guarantee. If you eat a little, and don't like it, I'll buy back the unused portion. Plus, I deliver it to your house for no extra charge. I sell only by the quarter, so you're buying a bundle of steaks, roasts, and ground beef. My market allows me little, if any profit; that is, people will not pay me what it costs me to raise it. It is a losing proposition this year for sure. We have sold several head over the past three years (7 or 8 head), and we get rave reviews, and some of them are repeat customers. But the cost is always a concern with our customers. I have had to lower my prices by 20% in order to move it, and I'm losing money on the product. So, if you want to buy locally raised, organic or natural produce or meat, you had better expect to pay more for it, even if it's not being transported very far.. Many people aren't willing to do that.
11/26/2013 8:36:13 AM
It would be good to get local vegetables in January, but our climate does not allow it. You cannot grow many vegetables in three inches of snow. The only vegetables that people saw 100 years ago, were the ones that could be stored for a long time - such as onions, beets, carrots, potatoes. Good luck with that.
11/26/2013 7:38:49 AM
Comments begin in April of 2010 so this article is definitely recycled. Still timely perhaps but just saying. Doing a search also offers several articles on SP telling us what to buy organic. And on my sidebar, I see a recipe for a pear and spinach salad and on November 26th. I live in Indiana, so while I could possibly still find locally grown spinach, pears? Not so much. They would be in cold storage somewhere and probably not here. So there is some hypocrisy going on, and not just on SP.
I walk the tightrope of healthy foods/environment. My meats are local, humanely raised and no GMO feeds. But we seldom just have meat, starch, vegetable, meats are used in stews and the like. Unfortunately, it is difficult here to find organic fruits/veggies any time of the year, locally grown that is. Even at the farmers' markets, if one asks, foods are not organic or one pays up to 2.00 per pound extra just to get "pesticide free" (and from the Amish no less).
But back to my earlier point and that is we see recipes often daily that we want to try, ingredients for it are not necessarily local nor seasonal. And this is everywhere. SP, Clean Eating, Living Well, just a few. The challenges of offering new and healthy dinners vs local or shipped foods is well entrenched in our lifestyles. Seems like we can not win for losing.
That's just great if you live in a climate that you grow things in, I live in the high dry desert some years good, some not so much, in a good year you get about4 months before the first hard freeze. That is if a late freeze did not kill all your plants and you have to replant in the middle of June. Some areas are just hard to grow a good variety vegies and forget about fruit the years you get fruit are few and far between.
This would be good if the produce at the Farmer's Market were actually grown locally. The vendors at the Farmer's Market here are just that---vendors. They go to a warehouse and buy produce by the case then resell it as home grown at an outrageous price. If I can buy produce directly from an honest to goodness gardener then I will but I buy very little at the so called Farmer's Market.
I am so glad this was a topic today. We have decided to join a local CSA or co-op where our veggies plus watermelons, cantaloupes, and tomatos are only grown about 12 miles from us. it is a 5-7lb box that we get weekly, and they also include recipes on how to prepare the veggies. I am also excited because they have a herb garden where we have free access to over 30 different herbs!!! I am hoping to get enough herbs that I will be able to dry them out and store them for winter, as well as fresh use=) The other bonus is we get 30lbs of canning tomatos, 3 pumpkins, and a punch card for an extra 15 punds of veggies!!!!! I am so excited to have fresh veggies, I can't wait!!! The bons is it only costs $300 for our family size, for 18 weeks which equals $17 per week, less than I would spend at the store or famer's market. Plus all of it is grown organiclly. We also get 30% off their store, where they are bringing in organic/free range beef, and eggs
AKIRA99, I'm pretty sure the point of bringing up the organic in the first paragraph was that many people buy organic thinking they're getting more nutritious foods, but if those foods have been shipped 2,000 miles or more to get to them, then many of the nutrients are already gone.
Frozen foods do not have this problem, organic or not, because they are frozen very soon after picking and do not lose nutrients in shipment (though the shipment itself still burns the fossil fuels).
Whether you buy organic or conventional, this article is merely saying it's always better to try to buy local over imported. If you live in an area where this is simply not a viable option due to lack of local produce, then sure, buy your organic from 2,000 miles away. This is just a generic article for those who do live in areas with local agriculture they can take advantage of.
While I agree with the "shop local" sentiment of the article, I'm a little confused about why the first paragraph cited organic products specifically as having to be shipped. If I go to my supermarket, most of the fresh veggetables (and canned and frozen....) are shipped, regardless of if it's an organic product or not. So could the author explain why she made that distinction?
My husband and I joined a CSA (community suppoted agriculture) last year. Our share of vegetables lasted all week. The benefit is that we learned to cook and eat vegetables that we never tried before. We ate more vegetables because we didn't want them to go to waste. Compared to food at the grocery the price seemed high but compared with other organic foods the price was very reasonable.
Thank you for this article. I do try and buy fresh produce from the farmers market when they are open and if the orices are not too high Cannot afford to buy organic in the supermarket though. And the tomatoes and berries do not taste the same in the stores as they do when freshly picked but i cannot get around to places to pick my own and cannot always afford to buy fresh berries; they are higher than the tomatoes.
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