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Created with Fabric.js 1.4.5 Apples: First, let's look at where our apples come from. Local vs. Imported 70% of apples grown in the UnitedStates come from Washington (1). Other major apple-producing statesinclude New York, Michigan,Pennsylvania, and California (6). Of all apples consumed in the UnitedStates, about 6% are imported (6). Imported apples largely come fromcountries in the Southern Hemisphere,mostly New Zealand and Chile (6). It's complicated... In general, local foods tend to require little fuel in order to reachthe consumer, compared to the large quantities of greenhouse gasemissions resulting from foods imported from overseas. With apples, it's all in the timing. Apple trees can only be harvested once a year,in mid-autumn for most apple varieties (4). New Zealand and Chile... ...are two leading producers of apples. Most of America'simported apples come from these two countries (6). Source: Bernatz (2) The graph below shows seasonal variation in shipping distance and energyused in the production of three fruits. Apples are represented by the red bars (2). Fun Apple Fact: The average imported apple travels over 10,000 km! (2). Sean Corrigan From February to September, the average distance an appletravels gradually increases, then it suddenly drops in October. This is because October is about when apples canbe harvested in the Northern Hemisphere (4). But where do we get apples during the off-season? Source: Flag of New Zealand (5). Source: Koppehel (7). The off-season for apples in the Northern Hemisphere isthe harvesting season in the Southern Hemisphere (4). Source: Starbird (9). New Zealand and Chile are far fromthe United States, and it may seemthat the local product is always themore environmentally friendly one. But the graph on the right shows theprocess an apple goes through to getto the consumer (9). For local apples to be consumed in the off-season, they must be stored inenergy-intensive spaces, where either temperature or atmosphere is controlled.As a result, an apple grown in New Zealand and shipped to California uses lessenergy than an apple grown in California and stored months into the off-season (4). Is Local Really Better? What can you do? In addition to buying local whenever possible,try to look for products that are in season. We can't be expected to know the harvest seasons for all our favorite foods......But if you want to do your part for the environment, or if you just want thefreshest apples, all the information you need is just a quick search away onyour smart phone. If you buy apples in the off-season, consider buying the imported ones. The majority of American consumers prefer local products (8).But sometimes local products cause more harm than they solvewhen they are out of season. The way we shop is an expression of our values (3). Buying local,seasonal foods shows support for environmental causes and showsstores that environmentally friendly products are the most desirable. Sources: 1. Agriculture: A Cornerstone of Washington's Economy. Washington State Department of Agriculture. WSDA. 8 Oct. 2014.Web. 15 Nov. 2014.2. Bernatz, Greta. Apples, Bananas, and Oranges: Using GIS to Determine Distance Travelled, Energy Use, and Emissionsfrom Imported Fruit. Papers in Resource Analysis. Saint Marys University of Minnesota Central Services Press. 2009.Web. 15 Nov. 2014.3. Blake, Megan K, Jody Mellor, and Lucy Crane. Buying Local Food: Shopping Practices, Place, and ConsumptionNetworks in Defining Food as 'Local.' Annals of the Association of American Geographers 100.2 (2010): 409-26. Web.4. Cholette, S. Case: Are Locally-Produced Foods Less Energy-Intensive than Imports?: Using CargoScope to CompareEnergy Usage for Local and Imported Apples. PDF file.5. Flag of New Zealand. Image. Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 28 Sep. 2005. Web. 16Nov. 2014.6. Industry Statistics. US Apple Association. U.S. Apple Association. 2014. Web. 16 Nov. 2014.7. Koppehel, Sebastian. Flag of Chile. Image. Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 27 Nov.2005. Web. 16 Nov. 2014.8. Onozaka, Yuko, and Dawn Thilmany Mcfadden. Does Local Labeling Complement or Compete with Other SustainableLabels? A Conjoint Analysis of Direct and Joint Values for Fresh Produce Claim. American Journal of AgriculturalEconomics 93.3 (2011). Web.9. Starbird, Andrew S. Optimal Loading Sequences for Fresh-Apple Storage Facilities. The Journal of the OperationalResearch Society. 39.10 (1988): 911-7. Print. Sean Corrigan Created with
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