Look closely - is there a local option?

Oh how I love blueberries.

When I was shopping at the grocery store the other day, I saw a sale, 3 for $10 for blueberries.

The winter deprives me of a wide variety of fruits so when it's time for spring, I get excited to add so many seasonal fruits to my diet.

My mouth started to water as I put the blueberry packages into my cart.
Blueberries don't last long in our house because I am quick to eat as soon as I get them.
I may be short but I have big hands when it comes to a handful of blueberries.

As always, I looked at the product label to determine if any of the blueberry options were local - I try to choose local as often as possible.

Oddly enough, there were four different package labels so I started to further investigate.

Product of USA: Fairfax, SC

Product of USA: Winter Haven, FL

Product of Mexico: Reedley, CA

For the purpose of this blog, I purchased all three packages.

In all other circumstances, I would have searched through all the blueberries to make sure that I purchased only the berries from South Carolina as eating local offers many benefits. 

  • Locally grown food is packed with flavor. 
  • Locally grown food is picked at peak ripeness, often within 24-48 hours of purchase. 
  • Eating local means eating seasonally as farmers grown certain foods based on the time of the year when harvesting is optimal. 
  • Local food preserves the nutritional value of the food. 
  • Local food supports the local economy.
  • Local food benefits the environment.
  • Local food means safer food with less steps between growing, delivering, distributing and consumption.

    Although I don't want to stop you from eating fresh produce just because it is not grown locally, next time you shop, take a look at the label (or package) on your fruits and veggies to see if there is the option to choose local (or as close as possible).

    I feel very fortunate that I live in an area that takes great pride in supporting local businesses, farmers and companies.
    Greenville, SC is passionate about local.

    You can do your part by signing up for a CSA (community supported agriculture), growing produce in a home garden, shopping at a local farmers market or picking your own produce at a farm (we have Beechwood Farms just down the road where strawberries are in season!) 

    Whenever possible, support your local farms and farmers.