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Even when the weather outside is frightful, you can still find fresh, local produce.

In New York in late February, apples, carrots, onions, potatoes and winter squash are available from local hot houses with celery, lettuce and mushrooms coming from nearby in Pennsylvania and Connecticut.

Why is eating local important? The Natural Resources Defense Council states that most produce eaten in the US travels an average of 1500 miles from farm to table. Consider the fossil fuels used to import fresh tomatoes to New Jersey, a state with ample farmland that exports tons of tomatoes every year. Researchers at Rutgers University estimated that meeting the New Jersey demand for just one year’s supply of out-of-state tomatoes used up enough fossil fuel to drive an 18-wheeler around the world 249 times.

Commonly air freighted foods and their country of origin include: asparagus (Peru),  bell peppers (Netherlands), tomatoes (Netherlands), blackberries (Chile), blueberries (Argentina), cherries (Chile), raspberries (Chile), peaches (Chile), nectarines (Chile), and papayas (Brazil).

To see what’s fresh in your state at any time of year, find a local farmer’s market or learn more about sustainable food in general, click here.

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