I ran across this the other night and it got me thinking. I do prefer to purchase at a farmer's market, I want to grow at home and mostly buy from the big box what is in season, but how far does my food travel? Sometimes, I put food back when I look at the sticker and see where it has traveled from. Sometimes, I don't even look. However, I am quite excited about there being a new Fresh Market here in Columbus (sadly, not yet open), so I wonder if I will still put produce back on the shelves when I realize it's traveled to Georgia from California. Especially when most of the produce grown in California can be grown in Florida, a mere 200 miles away. Yes, it's not entirely local, but at least it's closer, leaving less of a carbon imprint, right?
This year, I wanted to join a local CSA (find yours here). CSAs are Community Supported Agriculture programs, basically you subscribe for a season of produce and purchase directly from the farms. Great for local business, great for your wallet, great for your health, and everything is local. Problem is that I'm not yet working because I still don't have my professional license, so I didn't have the $360 to sign up for the 12 weeks up front. Apparently, the farmers plan part of their harvests based on subscriptions... It works out to $30 per week and is supposed to be enough for a family of four for dinners for the week. However, I'm betting much of the produce in the box are items I'm growing in my own garden, so I'm not too bummed this year.
I like buying from local businesses, especially those that truly are local small businesses. Then, there's the local Farmer's market, that has yet to open for the year. It's not year-round like in St Augustine (bummer, IMO), but at least there's one for summer season items. There's not even a flea market here that I can tell. THAT is a bummer, that's for sure.
But I digress. Does it make me a huge tree-hugger that I prefer to shop local and put back produce that has traveled a far distance? Maybe so, but I also want to decrease my carbon imprint on the Earth. Maybe not enough people care yet, but we need to.