The Myth Of The 1500 Miles

That old saw about how the average American meal travels 1500 miles from farm to table? It is a giant lie! That number is totally wrong!

Um, for everyone except Chicago:

Researchers have done little work to calculate food miles for areas outside the Midwest. A 1997 study showed that produce travels an average of 1,129 miles to Austin, 34 percent fewer than to Chicago. In 2001, an analysis of the Jessup, Md., terminal market concluded that U.S.-grown produce traveled an average of more than 1,685 miles. And though there’s no formal research to support it, Pirog says it’s safe to assume that, on average, food travels fewer miles to get to diners in California than to those in New York.

Not sure if this is a victory or a loss here, folks. But you know what they say: local, local, local.

What’s in a Number? [Slate]

[Photo: Local cherries from the Green City Market, via nibblekibble’s Flickr]


The Myth Of The 1500 Miles