Buy Local and In Season

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Buying local and in-season food not only helps support local farmers, but it reduces energy consumption as well. In the US, the distance from farm to fork can average from 1,200 to 2,500 miles. It takes a lot of energy to freeze, refrigerate, that food and then transport it by road, rail, sea and air. Air shipping is especially harmful as it emits approximately one hundred times more carbon than shipping food the same distance by boat. 

Here’s what you can do to ensure your food is grown locally and is in season:

  • Look for the Labels: Most grocery stores label where their fruits, vegetables, meats, and other fresh foods come from, allowing you to choose local options whenever possible. By choosing locally grown food, you are supporting a food system that minimizes fossil fuel required for preparation and transport. 
  • Shop for the Season: Even if it is grown locally, food grown out of season can require a lot of energy because of the light and energy needed to heat greenhouses. The smartphone app Seasons will help you know what foods are in season where you live, and also point you to the nearest farmers market. 
  • Join a CSA Program: A community supported agriculture program – or CSA – will ensure that the food you are eating is both local and in-season. 

To find a Farmers’ Market near you, check out the National Farmers’ Market Directory.