that a typical strawberry, which holds 5 calories of nourishment, requires approximately 435 calories of fuel to be delivered from the field to your grocery store? That’s 3,300 miles from California to New York, not counting detours for processing and packaging. Looking at “food miles” is one way of assessing the sustainability of a food item. Clearly, an item that wastes more calories than it produces is not sustainable. Even the environmental benefits of organic foods are offset when they are over-packaged, over-processed, and shipped across the nation, leading many to emphasize the importance of eating not just organically, but locally as well. It’s easier than it sounds; to start, we can stop importing and exporting identical items. Apples are New York’s second biggest agricultural export (after milk), yet most apples you find in our grocery stores come from Chile, some 5,100 miles away. Eating locally and reducing food miles through our CSA is a way of lessening our impact on the environment while supporting our small farmers and the local economy.

from Just Food

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