Listen Live
St. Louis Public Radio. News That Matters


Local Programs




About Programs




About HD Radio


St. Louis Public Radio Is
My Source For...

Professor Cordell Schulten"Pondering the persistent questions of life with my students." -Professor Cordell Schulten

Hear why people are so passionate about St. Louis Public Radio.

>> More

Home > Programs > Commentaries > Commentary Detail

Commentary Detail

Food in Your Neighborhood
Commentary by: Liz Forrestal
Aired June 20, 2007

When you look at a dinner plate full of food, do you ever notice the fossil fuels lurking between the carrots and potatoes? Might sound silly until you realize the fruits and vegetables you eat have traveled an average of 1,500 miles to get to you.

Check out the labels in your grocery storeís produce section: melons from Panama, grapes from Chile, cucumbers from Canada. Thatís a lot of fossil fuel burned to truck or fly that food around.

The processing and transportation of food accounts for 17% of the energy Americans consume. If that makes you want to reduce the fossil fuels on your plate, hereís a solution: buy food thatís grown locally.

The St. Louis area has a number of local farmersí markets, offering everything from berries, greens and potatoes to cheese, eggs and meats. Area grocery chains sometimes feature produce from local growers too; ask store managers if you want to see them stock more.

The less travel time between the farm and your kitchen, the more nutritious Ė and good-tasting Ė your food will be. Youíll also be supporting family farms and keeping your money in your region.

Of course, there are other ways to find locally grown food. More and more St. Louis area restaurants are using regional produce, meats, and cheeses. Next time you eat out, ask your chef if you donít see local purveyors listed on the menu.

Finally, how about planting a few vegetable crops or fruit trees in your own backyard? Canít get more local than that!

So do yourself and your planet a favor Ė buy local.

Local Harvest Website

Missouri Department of Agriculture website for local food

U.S. Department of Agriculture website for local food

(The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of St. Louis Public Radio.)

Back to Commentaries

Liz Forrestal

Liz Forrestal


Liz Forrestal is Executive Director for Missouri Votes Conservation, a non-profit that advocates for pro-environmental legislation in Missouri. She also participates in a number of community environmental groups, and is a board member of Audubon Missouri.

More Liz Forrestal Commentaries