7 Steps to Safer Food
Buy Food Directly from Local Farms
In a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) group, each member buys a share of the entire harvest (usually $300 to $600) from the farmer before the growing season starts and is rewarded with weekly produce gathered at peak ripeness. There are more than 1,000 CSAs across the US.
Farmers markets also give you—and your children—a chance to talk to and support the people who grow local food. The USDA reports that there are more than 3,100 farmers markets nationwide, a 79 percent increase between 1994 and 2002.
The environment benefits from CSAs, too. According to the Leopold Center’s 2003 report on food miles in Iowa, “Checking the Food Odometer,” when produce is sold locally in Iowa it travels an average of 56 miles. When sold elsewhere, it travels an average of 1,494 miles—nearly 27 times farther. And an estimated 39 percent of fruits, 40 percent of lamb and 78 percent of fish and shellfish that Americans consume comes from abroad. “We’re all trying to minimize our footprint, and the way to do that is to buy locally,” Rich Pirog says.
YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN