Friday, June 25, 2010

do you know how far your food travels?

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.


  1. Which CSA did you manage to find in Columbus? This Minneapolis blog ( got me interested in CSA's, but my search led to a dead end. They were all much closer to Atlanta and did not bring their goods here. I did find Harmony Hil Farms aka Columbus Natural foods, they emailed me back and said to join this email list: and I haven't heard anything back since.

    I have been to Market Days on Broadway, it is very small. There are only a few people there selling a few things. I haven't been to the market at the landings yet so I'm hoping it will consist of more vendors:

    I am a sucker for Sat morning markets after I started going to the one in Birmingham. It was amazing, you could eat some breakfast/lunch while you shop and they even sold fresh local goat cheese (Bulgar Creek Farms, how I miss you). But my biggest problem is they only last until noon which is about when I normally wake up on Saturdays. I know, what a lazy excuse :-) But I wake up at 7am on weekdays and work 10-12 hour days 5 days a week so weekend mornings are like my recovery time. So if I'm in the mood for fresh local produce I usually go to Marvin's Market or Fat Boy's market, both on Veteran's Pkwy.

    No I don't think it makes you a tree hugger to want to eat fresh local produce, but then again I drive a prius so maybe I'm just a big treehugger myself :-)

  2. Why worry about what others think of you. Whether you're a tree hugger or not, is their opinion of you. Letting others define you will lead you to insanity!

  3. I wish we had something like that here. I mainly shop at Kroger. If I am in Richmond I like to shop at the Tan-A because the food there is "less traveled".

  4. We try to grow our own or buy local whenever possible.Luckily, where we live there are always farmers markets and stands to buy fresh produce.


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