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Eating Local Foods Saves the Environment

I've been a food snob for about the past 10 years.

I still vividly remember the Wednesday (I think?) mornings I'd go to the outdoor farmer's market with my grandmother and mother in the days before I started preschool.  It was those memories that drove me, nearly 17 years later, back to Soulard Market.  I was immediately taken with the chaotic, dim, random atmosphere; it was only after I got back home and started cooking that I was taken with the absolute taste difference between the fresh spinach I'd gotten there and the "fresh" spinach I'd been buying at the local grocery store.  Since that day, I've never looked back.

I now spend more of my shopping time at Sappington Farmer's Market, mostly because it's indoors (and that's a huge plus in the St. Louis weather extremes) and has more standard hours of operation, but I also often stop at the random neighborhood farmer's markets I come across.

I know I'm  not alone in this.  Most foodies I know shop farmer's markets for a miriad of reasons: they like to support local farmers, they like to know where their food is coming from, they like to buy fresh, they like the option of asking precisely what chemicals have touched their products (and getting an answer from a reliable source), they like how cheap the produce is, they like finding the unexpected fruit/veggie.  The list goes on and on.

However, an article from the Natural Resouces Defense Council gives me even more reason to shop my local farmer's markets almost exclusively.  According to the NRDC, the typical piece of produce travels 1,500 miles before it reaches a grocery store.  Grapes travel 5,900 miles from Chile to their import port in Califormia.  Their cargo ships and trucks produce 7,000 tons of global warming pollution.  And that, my friends, is not worth a bunch of virtually tasteless grapes.

Come join me in being a food snob: find your local farmer's market and start eating like you've never eaten before.

As a side note, the NRDC article also has a nice resouce that tells you what foods are locally grown in your state and bordering states for each growing season.

Comments

I love farmer's markets.  I

I love farmer's markets.  I like to go towards the end of the day because a lot of times you can get good deals from farmers who just want to sell some of their stuff instead of bringing it back with them.  So not only is it better for the environment, but you can save so much money!

YAY for farmer's markets!

Great tip!

Great tip!

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