Top Ten Earth Day Actions: #7 Buy Local. Your Carrots are Tired.

The sun is out, flowers are up, take a walk to the nearest farmer's market this weekend.  Odds are most of the food you're eating isn't from the tri-state area, and may not even be from this coast of the country.  Everyone likes tomatoes year-round, but flying them in from Chile isn't helping reduce our carbon footprint.  Not a foodie?  Check out what's in season near you.

Check out these food mile stats:
  • Hawaii imports 90% of its food.4
  • In 1866, 1,186 varieties of fruits and vegetables were produced in California. Today, California's farms produce only 350 commercial crops.5
  • Communities reap more economic benefits from the presence of small farms than they do from large ones. Studies have shown that small farms re-invest more money into local economies by purchasing feed, seed and other materials from local businesses,6whereas large farms often order in bulk from distant companies. Large factory livestock farms also degrade local property values because of the intense odors they emit and other environmental problems they cause.7
  • A typical carrot has to travel 1,838 miles to reach your dinner table.8
  • In the U.S., a wheat farmer can expect to receive about six cents of each dollar spent on a loaf of bread—approximately the cost of the wrapping.9
  • Farmers' markets enable farmers to keep 80 to 90 cents of each dollar spent by the consumer.10
  • About 1/3 of all U.S. farms are located within metropolitan areas, comprising 18% of total U.S. farmland.11