Because it’s not shipped long distances, locally grown food is often tasty and healthy. Food that’s shipped is often resilient to travel, according to the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture. A study of 16 popular fruits and vegetables showed the average was transferred nearly 1,500 miles before being sold.
Not only is local food better for your health, it’s also better for the environment. For instance, the average 18-wheeled semi truck travels about 5 miles per gallon of gas. That means about 500 gallons of diesel fuel is needed to haul produce an average distance of 1,500 miles.
Because a large volume of produce is shipped upward of 1,500 miles before reaching the consumer, the local areas where the food was grown and raised don’t always benefit from the sale of the food. On the other hand, buying food locally can improve the economic vitality of small, local farms.