The thousand mile journey of produce

cantaloupe traveled about 1,500 miles to King Soopers

carrots 1,300 miles but at least my conscience is soothed cause it says “Organic” and has got the stamp!

A typical carrot has to travel 1,838 miles to reach your dinner table.8

Drum roll please…

the FRESH selection of Green Cabbage and Carrots. I tried to use the “track me” website but my entry would not work. Bummer.

Food miles refers to the distance of where the produce is harvested to the time it is eaten.  On average food travels 1,500 miles.

In the US more than 1/2 of all tomatoes are
harvested and shipped green, and then artificially ripened .

What’s the big deal?

  • Even though the package says “fresh” it is not, a lot of the food loses its nutritional value
  • The distance food travels has increased by 25%, “The farther we ship food, the more vulnerable our food system becomes,” said Worldwatch research associate Brian Halweil, author of “Home Grown: The Case for Local Food in a Global Market.”
  • It is bad for the environment.  Food transportation uses fuel.  A typical meal (meats, grains, fruit, and veggies) from a grocery store uses 4-17% more petroleum than eating locally.
The distance that I traveled for spinach, lettuce, mixed greens, thyme, rosemary……10 steps


Pirog, Rich, and Andrew Benjamin. “Checking the Food Odometer: Comparing Food Miles for Local Versus Conventional Produce Sales in Iowa Institutions.” Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, July 2003.

Pretty, Jules. “Some Benefits and Drawbacks of Local Food Systems.” Briefing Note for TVU/Sustain AgriFood Network, November 2, 2001.


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