April showers may be best known for bringing in May flowers, but in my D.C. neighborhood, they also bring in…a local farmers market! There's something about fresh produce that just tastes better—kale is a little spicier, strawberries a little sweeter, and tomatoes are completely different fruit than those watery things sold at the grocery store. And it's so nice to know that I'm supporting my local farmers and economy by buying at the farmers market.
But did you know that you're not only doing your body and local economy a favor by buying locally grown food—you're also saving energy! How?
American food travels an average of 1,500 to 2,500 miles from farm to table, according to the Worldwatch Institute. By purchasing food locally, you're helping cut out the carbon emissions associated with that travel. And if you drive less, you're saving gasoline and money too! See our tips for improving your vehicle's fuel efficiency. Eating seasonally also can help ensure that your food was grown in an open field, not a fossil-fuel powered greenhouse.
And won't that make your fresh strawberry shortcake taste even sweeter?
Lynn Meyer is a Presidential Management Fellow on detail with EERE's Communications and Outreach office in Washington, D.C.