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Did you know that produce typically travels 1,500 miles from the farm to your table in the United States?
This means that when you buy produce at the grocery store, in addition to the cost of the farmer growing and harvesting the produce, you are also paying the cost to ship the item as well.
Americans are typically spoiled when it comes to the availability of produce in supermarkets.
If I want grapefruit in February, I get it all the way from Texas. If I want apples in August, they come from Michigan. If I want Akee any time of year, it comes all the way from Jamaica.
Yes, the world has become quite small. It has also become more costly.
At first glance, it might appear to you that foreign produce is actually cheaper than American. Technically it is. It is cheaper for foreign companies to grow and export produce to us because they do not have to adhere to the same stringent standards that local growers have to, among other economic and regional reasons.
But the damage is done when local growers are handicapped from competing — by our own laws. And, as a result, they are losing money year after year. Meanwhile, our tax money is used to bail out the farmers, and all the money we spend on produce goes overseas.
I am convinced that the best way to give our economy the boost is to buy locally produced products.
This does not necessarily mean paying more and hoping that it all pans out later. This simply means buying items in season within your own local area. For example, if you are wearing a parka and winter boots, you know grapes are not growing outside, or even in the next state.
For more information on what to buy when, check out Local Harvest.
I have been a certified tightwad since I became pregnant with my first child and decided to find a way to stay home with him. I enjoy sharing my experiences in my journey back to financial health and planning for a future — which will include sending 2 kids to college and early retirement.