Local Produce vs Transported Produce

Edible Landscapes, Food Forest Design, Food Forests, Permaculture

Food costs all around the world are going up for many reasons, but a large part of the reason for this is the rising costs of fuel to transport food. In fact, that is the cause of the increased costs of most things these days. Gas prices are up almost 50% from last year.

Luckily there is an answer to this issue, which is to either buy locally grown food (organic of course is best) or better yet, to grow food in your own yard. There are far more issues with non-local produce though than simply the cost increase. Did you know that In the United States, it’s estimated that the food on your plate has to travel about 1,500 miles from farm to plate? Why is that an issue?

Food transportation makes up 19% of global food system greenhouse gas emissions. There is no need to be polluting the environment to get food on the table. We are not denying there are food deserts, but that is not the answer. The answer is to grow food, even in food deserts. Soil can be built up, you can grow indoors, and there are many solutions to be able to eat food that is not traveling from afar. 

Another issue with transporting produce is the risk of chemicals or other toxic substances that may have been transported in the same truck, train, or another method of transportation chosen. There have been incidents of food transportation safety where the food has been compromised.

Food that is transported is most often packaged of course. Which means typically in some sort of non-biodegradable packaging such as plastic or styrofoam. Not only can the toxins from the packaging leach into produce, but it is such a waste and ends up polluting our environment in a landfill. 

In order to ship produce, it needs to be picked when it is not ripe, so that is ripens after it is picked. Otherwise, by the time you buy the produce, it is already starting to go bad. What is wrong with that you may ask? Well for one, produce tastes better when it is freshly picked, rather than picked and ripened afterward. If you have ever eaten produce straight from the plant or ground, you know that it tastes so much better that way. Another issue with this method is that many foods lose vitamin and mineral content the longer it is around after it is picked or harvested. It makes sense, the fruit or vegetable has been cut off from its source of life and is on its way to decay at an early stage in its life.

One more reason to eat locally grown foods is that it is healthier to be eating foods that are in season in the area that you live in, many studies have shown this to be true. 

So why wait to start growing your own food? Don’t delay, book a free, no-obligation strategy session with one of our permaculture experts today to learn more about growing your own food right at home.

What is a Food Forest?

A food forest is thoughtfully designed to produce maximum nutrition, beauty and abundance.