|Peaches sold by local farmer:|
$20 for 23-pound basket ($1.15 a pound)
The following video illustrates how the buy local effort has even spread to college campuses:
The local produce available throughout the year is amazing, and my home state of North Carolina is one of several states in the South that provides a quick reference guide about the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables. In the summer months, one of the favorites where I live is peaches, which are available from May through September.
|Farmer stand at state farmers' market|
In fact, imagine the additional ways in this area for buying fresh peaches:
- Local farmers’ market
- Roadside stand operated by a local farm
- Neighborhood grocery store that promotes local produce
However, the shock for me recently was a neighborhood grocery store that was promoting peaches – not locally picked but shipped from California – in the middle of the local peach season. How much expense is involved in transporting peaches from one side of the country completely across to the other side? It’s like “carrying coal to Newcastle” and is a complete waste of energy as well as a detriment to the local food economy (and the out-of-state peaches were 10 cents a pound more than local peaches being sold by a local farmer at a roadside stand about 2/10ths of a mile from the store).
|Regional food chain has window display|
that advertises fresh peaches ...
|... but the small print indicates|
that the peaches are out-of-state
(and cost 10 cents a pound more than local ones)
Several businesses, schools, and local communities have joined in an effort – known as the 10% campaign – to buy at least 10% of their food budgets from farmers in their local areas. The campaign, an effort to rebuild a local food economy, also helps to educate the public about food choices. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables as a regular part of a diet provides many long-term health benefits. Although the increasing obesity rates are a national problem, they are particularly troubling for the American South. Most states in the South exceed the national average for both adult and childhood obesity.
|Roadside stand with fresher, cheaper|
peaches (less than 2/10ths of a mile
from regional grocery chain)
What a shame that a regional grocery chain in the South (owned by a Belgium corporation), where peaches are grown with so much success, sees fit to ship them completely across the county and that local shoppers buy them. Be more selective, and enjoy produce that your area grows. Become a locavore.