A study at Iowa State University shows that fresh produce you buy has traveled farther than you may think, and has some unforeseen costs. Rich Pirog, a researcher at ISU’s Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, says they’ve been trying to determine some of the indirect costs of trucking in fresh produce.He says some of the indirect costs are increased pollution from trucks and the expense of maintaining the roads for the big trucks. Pirog says much of the produce we now eat in Iowa has traveled hundreds and even thousands of miles. He says grapes traveled the farthest, over 21-hundred miles, while pumpkins and mushrooms traveled the shortest distance. While you might expect grapes to travel a long way, sweetcorn, an Iowa favorite, was also well traveled. Pirog found sweetcorn came into Iowa from 16 different states and traveled an average of 800 miles. Pirog says studies show it costs a lot less to ship locally grown food and Iowa should continue re-building local food networks that had faded away. The produce information is part of an overall food study conducted by the Leopold Center.
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