Go Green with Local Harvest

June 13, 2008

Going back to an earlier post March post, have you heard about the local challenge? It is a challenge to each of us to eat at least one meal a week in which all ingredients come from no more than 100 miles away. If you are so inclined, you could challenge yourself to become a true localvore (or locavore) who eats almost exclusively within a 100 mile radius.

One fifth of all petroleum used in the US is used by the food industry. And of that amount, four fifths are used to move food from one place to another. Since the average ingredient travels 1500 miles before it reaches your plate, 6 to 12 % of every dollar spent on food is for transportation costs. If you shop at a farmer’s market, the farmer will keep about 90 cents of every dollar you spend with him. If you shop for your ingredients at a grocery store, 91 cents of every dollar will go to the middlemen and the farmer will receive 9 cents.

A great website to find food local to you is Local Harvest.

Community Supported Agriculture or CSA is one way to work towards being a localvore. The CSA farmer will provide you with a specified amount of produce every week over their growing season. The one I belong to delivers about a ½ bushel of assorted vegetables, fruits, berries, honey and herbs a week for approximately $18 a week. The CSA share is paid in advance, allowing the farmer a regular income.

If you have an office summer picnic, consider asking everyone to bring items made from local produce. It could be a fun way to introduce everyone to the local challenge while making an effort to greenify your meal.


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