Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Although we've been eating as many fruits and vegetables
as we can during the past 10 months, this is the time of
year that they are first and foremost on our mind. The
last four Julys we have been in a place where there are no
strawberries, no corn on the cob, no fresh broccoli and
green beans. We are in produce section heaven!
The plethora of fresh fruits and veggies does not come
without a price however. I read today in a magazine an
article discussing "food miles". This is the distance that
items must travel to get to your store and how it translates
to fuel energy spent. For example:
Apples grown in Iowa, shipped to markets in Iowa use
1.7 teaspoons of gasoline per apple
Apples grown in Washington State and shipped to Iowa use
1 cup of gasoline per apple
And although I think it's always best to buy American when
it's practical, it doesn't always work that way with fruit.
1 pineapple grown in Hawaii and shipped to the mainland uses
2.8 gallons of gasoline per pineapple to make it to the store
1 pineapple grown in Costa Rica and shipped to the U.S. uses
0.3 gallons of gasoline per pineapple to make it to the store.
Today, we saw apples at our store that were grown in
New Zealand! NZ apples are delicious, but are they that
much more delicious than the Washington State apples right
next to them that cost 30 cents less per apple and used a lot
less petroleum to get here?
Hence, you should always try to buy product that is grown
locally if possible. Oranges don't grow in my area, but these
figures will make me think the next time I buy produce.
On a lighter note, we're fortunate enough that we have a huge
selection to choose from. Not only trucked vegetables and
fruits, but organic ones as well. It's nice to have such
options. Just as an example, today we bought red grapes at
only $1.00 per pound. I can almost guarantee you that
one single grape this time of year in McMurdo would sell
for $1.00. First-born children would be given away for
a whole pound. But fear not, my Ice-bound Antarctic
friends. Winfly, along with citrus, veggies, apples and the
like arrive only one month from today. Hang in there!
Posted by Tom Hamann at 4:35 PM