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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

A Carrot From Israel?

A Carrot From Israel?

The other day we were discussing where our food comes from with my Girl Scout troop. I decided to look at a few items in my kitchen. There was a kiwi from Italy, some strawberries from California, and a bag of carrots from Israel??!!

I couldn’t believe the carrots. The kiwi seemed a bit odd too, but what really through me off were the carrots. There are plenty of areas in this country where carrots can be grown pretty much year-round. So why then do we have to import them from a place halfway around the globe??

Obviously there must be a cost factor that makes sense for the vegetable buyer at my local grocery store, but when I stopped to think about it, how could it make sense? By time they pick the carrots, put them in bags, then boxes then ship them here —how could it cost less, and when was that carrot picked?

Last week here on Farmers’ Almanac’s web site we asked if you tried to buy or grow your vegetables locally. Many of you said you grew your own and frequented farmers markets when you could. The hard part of course is for areas that have very cold winters, as that makes growing food tough.  Thus the need to buy produce from your grocery store, but why do they import vegetables from such far away places?

After this little exploration of my kitchen, I went to the grocery store with the goal to only buy vegetables grown in the USA. It was a little tough.  I live in New Jersey so the gardening season is just beginning. Soon there will be some produce available at my grocery store that’s grown locally. I also bought a share in a local CSA and this week is my first pick up. I’m so excited to experiment with very locally grown food.

Sometimes it’s hard to figure out what you can do when you want to eat healthy, not break the budget, and not buy produce that gets shipped from far off places. I do know that I’m going to be paying attention a lot more to where my carrots and other food come from and will try to keep my purchases to locally grown food in the summer and USA grown produce in the winter.

What do you do? Did you ever really look at the produce you have in your kitchen and where it came from?

3 comments

1 TheMaineMan { 06.23.14 at 11:45 pm }

Specialization and economies of scale. The savings in cost of production sometimes outweigh those of transportation and if applicable tariff.

2 Sharon Lee { 06.04.14 at 12:06 pm }

It’s all part of the Free Trade Agreement..which to me is not right. Our farmers sign up for it and ship food grown here to other Countries all for the money. Sorry to say you want find much fruit grown here. When other Countries pick the fruit or vegetables they are not ripe and they are frozen games what ever to keep them from rotting and then put on the ships for days to weeks then the warehouse and then on trucks to be delivered to the stores. It makes people sick cause you have NO idea what these other countries have put on the food to make it grow. Also it’s your can items. Delmonte fruits are grown in China!!…And to top it off here all the animals waste that has all the hormones ect antibiotics in it are hauled by trucks and sprayed on the fields and then a sign is put up to stay off the fields contains hazardous waste!!! And the food is grown on it or corn and feed back to the animals and then sold at the meat department. I do believe that’s why there is so much cancer and sickness…and why I’m venting a question for yall…All the insecticide being used and I believe that’s what killing the honey bees and when they are gone…Guess what..no more pollinaters. ..sad so sad..All nd I could go on and on but I will close with this to think about…Our precious waters rivers lakes oceans are being polluted more and more..I wish there was a law that the big companies could not build near the water..they do it so there mess can flow in our waters..When the waters are all polluted we are done for😭

3 Mary Jarrett { 06.03.14 at 10:44 pm }

I am trying to start a farmers market in our small town……have found a sponsor, elected officials are supportive, citizens are enthusiastic, have a perfect location……only problem is I CAN NOT FIND FARMERS………would appreciate any help and suggestions to get this off the ground……so we can have locally grown fresh veggies on our tables and at the same time help local farmers………anyone?????

4 Frank Killian { 06.03.14 at 6:58 pm }

At the store I work at we are getting apples from New Zealand it’s all of a climate/seasonal thing

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