Ventura County's Support-Local Program

The Magic of Mother Nature

How far has your food traveled? What vitamin is prevalent in winter vegetables? How to you know what food is in-season? We answer these and more questions.

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Mother Nature’s “seasonings”

Mother Nature has designed a wonderful system such that each season’s food just happens to have exactly what our bodies require to stay fit and healthy. Each season provides different minerals and vitamins that have been benefiting humans for centuries. For example, autumn’s seasonal vegetables, such as Kale, are particularly high in Vitamin C which builds up the immune system to help ward off colds and flues.

Developing a relationship with local farmers gives us an “in” with our local food system. At farmers’ markets we can get answers to questions like: When do tomatoes come into season? And, how might I use a specific item? Most farmers are happy to talk about how the growing season is going and how that affects the food they grow. Knowing local farmers can go a long way to simplifying buying local.

“Food Miles” – How far has your food traveled?

Another significant reason to buy local is to keep food miles to a minimum. “Food miles” refers to the distance a food item travels from the farm to your home. The food miles for items in the grocery store are, on average, 27 times higher than the food miles for goods bought from local sources.

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In the US, the average grocery store’s produce travels nearly 1,500 miles between the farm where it was grown and your refrigerator.

About 40% of our fruit is produced overseas and, even though broccoli is grown all over the country, the broccoli we buy at the supermarket travels an average of 1,800 miles to get there. Notably, nine percent of our red meat comes from foreign countries, some as far away as Australia and New Zealand.

Know your farmer, know your food

So do you want to know what’s in season? Or how to eat local?  Talk to a local farmer! Click here to check out our list of CSA’s, Farmers Markets and Produce Exchanges.

Image credits: Denise Dewire and Jim Martin.

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Learn more about author Kat Merrick

Kat Merrick

About the author

Kat Merrick made her mark in the apparel world as an innovative leader and founder of Surf Chick Inc. With over 25 years of extensive experience managing worldwide capacity apparel facilities, companies and product, her superior leadership skills, practiced in directing cross-functional global teams to design, brand, source develop and marketing, won her world-wide recognition and awards. She is considered an expert in the areas of trend studies, brand building and marketing. At 23 years old she opened her first successful retail business in Ventura County, Since then, Kat has owned and operated several very successful retail and wholesale operations and assisted numerous multi-category small businesses to achieve success. Highly respected by many local small business owners, growers, artists and locals, she has been tagged as “the Shop Local girl”. Kat’s extensive travels, strong business knowledge and desire to make a positive impact locally helped inspire her to create Totally Local VC. A Ventura County resident since 1978, single mother of two and long-standing advocate for support of local small business and all that is Ventura, founder and developer of Totally Local VC, Kat brings her passion for our community to all she does. Her writings, posts and blog reflect her love of family, friends and community and desire to help.

 

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