I know we have talked about why it is important before but I just wanted to go over it again (I want you all to remember this).
The average produce in the US is picked 4 to 7 days before being placed on your shelf, there are some reports that say it can be up to 60 days. There are even reports that say vacuum-packed meat can be up to 112 days old in the supermarket! This is all after it has traveled an average of 1500 miles to reach the store-and that average is for American grown products, it is definitely longer if it is coming from Mexico, Canada, South America, or Asia.
To me that is gross! I like my food to be fresh! I also like to know exactly where my food is coming from. Am I buying it from a pesticide using corporate farm or the organic farmer who lives here in town? Is my meat the product of hormone fed cattle, or organic free range raised and butchered here in town?
It isn’t just about knowing how old your food is and where it is coming from. By buying locally you are helping the planet. Shipping goods across the country equals tons of toxic emissions. Transportation by shipping produces emissions of 1 billion metric tons of Co2 and uses 11 billion gallons of fuel per year!It requires more packaging which equals more buildup in the landfills and more toxins in our planet. The EPA estimates that the US produces 11.9 million tons of plastic packaging each year, 90% of this ends up in the landfill after its first use.
So when you are shopping today or tomorrow for your bbq, take the time to look up your local farmers market or butcher or even your local brewery (I am pretty confident that more than one of you will crack open a beer to celebrate the 4th!), I bet you have one closer to you than you think. I also bet the food will be fresher which means it will taste better! Not only will you be getting a better product but you will be supporting your neighbors and putting money into your own community!
I hope you all have a happy and green 4th of July!!!!