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USA Grown Food

May 29, 2012

Recently during a conversation at the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Facebook page I was very surprised to see someone say “Most produce at my grocery store does not come from the US.” Several farmers spoke up about the plentiful food that grocery stores carry and another person spoke up saying “Most of the produce in my grocery stores also do not come from the US. Even the people with a little produce stand down the road get their stuff from Mexico.” Now this person is somewhere northeast of here, from what I gather. So I was surprised to hear stores in Idaho and east coast don’t carry any USA produce.

Now I neglected to take my camera, but this morning had to run to Carbon Hill to get some dog food and a few other items. Bill & Sons, our locally owned grocery store, is where we buy most of our groceries. So I wandered back to the produce part of the store to see how this little store in a town of about 2,000 people stacked up against the stores of the commenters. Wow.

There were some things – kiwi, coconuts (Mexico), pineapple, – that indeed were imported.  I don’t see coconut trees around, and I suspect they’re mighty few in Idaho and the east coast too. However, from sweet corn to carrots to lettuce to peppers and much more all carried a “product of USA” sign over it. Some were more detailed, indicating southern grown tomatoes and “Product of Chilton County” peaches.

Then one of the critics said there wasn’t much labeled from Idaho – never mind that there are many other USA states. There is a concern from many about how far their food is shipped and how fresh it is. Many try to buy local, which we obviously encourage!

How much of an issue is it for you? Will you buy the produce that you need if available, or do you focus strictly on local and/or organic? What do you do to empower your own food choices? How much of your fresh food is grown in the USA? Have you thought about it?

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