Fresh Local Food? Not So Much

Prairie Gleanings

My wife tried the fresh, local thing. The results were quite unexpected, and not in a good way.

Published on: August 16, 2013

Yesterday, my wife reminded me that a “farmer” would be coming by to deliver us a box of fresh, local produce.

A “What?” “Remember, I told you…” type of conversation ensued. If you’re married, you probably have these daily.

Anyhow, she reminded me that she joined some coworkers and purchased a food allotment from a local farmer’s market. It was a one-time thing – not a community supported agriculture deal.

To say the very least, I was skeptical. Well, it arrived last night.

I’m not sure if the delivery man was a farmer. My son was hollering at me from the living room, and I didn’t have time to ask any questions.

Does this look like a box of locally-grown produce to you? Yeah, me neither.
Does this look like a box of locally-grown produce to you? Yeah, me neither.

So, I pulled the lid off the box and was somewhat shocked. The first thing I saw was a vacuumed-sealed bag of spinach.

Odd, I thought this was a locally-grown thing. As I pulled more stuff out of the box, I began to suspect this was all store-bought produce.

The potatoes were extremely clean. The onion did not look like it was dug this week.

Trying my best not to be a buzzkill, I kept digging. That’s when I saw the labels with barcodes. And, then I read “Produce of Mexico” on the bell peppers.

What!!

When my wife got home, she pulled up the group online. She read off a list of crops that are grown locally – none of which were included in our box of goodies.

Not only is this a store-bought bell pepper from Mexico, its not a great one. Had I gone to the grocery store, Id like to think I could pick a better pepper than this.
Not only is this a store-bought bell pepper from Mexico, it's not a great one. Had I gone to the grocery store, I'd like to think I could pick a better pepper than this.

Yep, that’s right, we paid $20 to have a man deliver a box of store-bought produce.

It goes to show that consumers are going nuts over “locally-grown.” That’s fine and dandy, but make sure it’s actually local.

Organic is going through the same sort of growing pains. Marketing is getting convoluted in an attempt to cash in on the organic craze.

I don't blame my wife. She was being a good sport and trying something new. And, I've always held that locally-grown is typically better than store-bought produce because it is fresher.

This little debacle definitely has us eating our fruits and veggies. I do see an appeal in having a large amount of perishable foods delivered. It’s a race to eat everything before it goes to waste.