EATING LOCALLY: WHAT FOODS ARE LOCAL IN YOUR STATE?

Eating local is gaining popularity. But it’s often a journey rather than a destination. Many foods are produced in the US, but billions of dollars’ worth of food is also imported from other countries every year, the majority coming from our north and south neighbors Canada and Mexico.

In 2017, the US bought $26.2 billion and $23.5 billion worth of food from Mexico and Canada, respectively. The US imported $137.2 billion worth of food from all over the world in 2017. Most fresh fruits and vegetables imported come from Mexico.

The US spent $21.3 billion on seafood, $10.86 billion on grains, $7.5 billion on red meat, $6.2 billion on vegetable oils, $3.3 billion on nuts, and $1.8 billion on dairy product imports in 2017. Other products like sweets, beverages, coffee, and cocoa were imported too.

In 2018, the US imported $147 billion of food, feeds, and beverages (of note, the US also exported $133 billion of its own food, feeds, and beverages – biggest being meat and poultry, soybeans, and corn).

The most popular imported fruits to the US are banana, avocado, pineapple, apple, honeydew melon, mango, blueberry, lemon, and nectarines. Many of these fruits need warmer climates and different soil than what the US has. Labor costs are also cheaper in other countries so it’s a good economic move also.

Seafoods imported commonly to the US are haddock, grouper, whiting fish, red bream, squid, flounder, Atlantic cod, lobster, and crab.

The most imported foods in the US are coffee, spices and cocoa, fish, shellfish, fresh fruit, fresh juice, sugar, wine, vegetable oils, fresh vegetables, and processed vegetables.

Now for the more local foods! They are listed in alphabetical order by state, so find the state you are in to support more locally grown food. Here is a list the commonly grown produce and animal products per state:

1. Alabama
Produce – soybeans, corn, peanuts, pecans, wheat, oats, peaches, mushrooms, and cucumbers.
Animal products – broilers, cattle and calves, chicken eggs, catfish, hogs, dairy products, turkeys, farm chickens, and honey.

2. Alaska 
Produce – mushrooms, potatoes, barley, and oats.
Animal products – cattle and calves, hogs, and dairy products.

3. Arizona
Produce – pecans, wheat, barley, corn, watermelon, cantaloupe, spinach, head lettuce, romaine lettuce, leaf lettuce, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, and Chile peppers.
Animal products – dairy products, cattle and calves, hogs, chicken eggs, turkeys, honey, and farm chickens.

4. Arkansas
Produce – soybeans, peanuts, rice, corn, wheat, oats, sorghum, sweet potatoes, and mushrooms.
Animal products – cattle and calves, chicken eggs, turkeys, hogs, catfish, honey, and farm chickens.

5. California
Produce – pecans, almonds, walnuts, pistachios, green lima beans, dry beans, mushrooms, snap beans, corn, sweet corn, barley, oats, wheat, rice, oranges, lemons, grapes, apricots, grapefruit, apples, pears, plums and prunes, sugar beets, cherries, raspberries, cantaloupe, blueberries, dates, pears, grapefruit, apples, peaches, watermelon, honeydew melon, tangerines, kiwi, figs, strawberries, tomatoes, garlic, celery, cauliflower, cabbage, spinach, bell peppers, Chile peppers, head lettuce, romaine lettuce, leaf lettuce, carrots, broccoli, onion, potatoes, sweet potatoes, artichokes, avocados, cucumbers, squash, pumpkins, asparagus, olives, safflower, sunflower, and peppermint.
Animal products – dairy products, cattle and calves, chicken eggs, honey, turkeys, catfish, and trout.

6. Colorado
Produce – chickpeas, corn, wheat, sorghum, millet, barley, oats, peaches, sugar beets, potatoes, spinach, carrots, mushrooms, onions, and sunflower.
Animal products – cattle and calves, dairy products, hogs, chicken eggs, turkeys, honey, trout, and farm chickens.

7. Connecticut
Produce – mushrooms, apples, maple products
Animal products – dairy products, chicken eggs, turkeys, cattle and calves, trout, honey, hogs, and farm chickens.

8. Delaware
Produce – soybeans, snap beans, corn, sweet corn, wheat, barley, watermelon, and cucumbers.
Animal products – chicken eggs, dairy products, cattle and calves, hogs, turkeys, honey, and farm chickens.

9. Florida
Produce – peanuts, soybeans, snap beans, corn, sweet corn, wheat, grapefruit, tangerines, oranges, blueberries, strawberries, tomatoes, watermelon, cantaloupe, bell peppers, cucumbers, potatoes, cabbage, avocados, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, squash, and sugarcane.
Animal products – cattle and calves, dairy products, broilers, chicken eggs, honey, turkeys, hogs, and farm chickens.

10. Georgia
Produce – peanuts, pecans, snap beans, soybeans, corn, sweet corn, sorghum, rye, wheat, oats, peaches, watermelon, blueberries, cantaloupe, carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers, cabbage, onions, mushrooms, and squash.
Animal products – broilers, chicken eggs, cattle and calves, dairy products, hogs, turkey, honey, farm chickens, and catfish.

11. Hawaii
Produce – macadamia nuts, taro, papaya, banana, sugarcane, avocados, mushrooms, and coffee.
Animal products – dairy products, chicken eggs, honey, hogs, and farm chickens.

12. Idaho
Produce – lentils, green peas, dry peas, chickpeas, oats, wheat, barley, corn, sweet corn, hops, apples, peaches, sugar beets, potatoes, canola, safflower, mustard seed, rapeseed, onions, peppermint, and spearmint.
Animal products – dairy products, cattle and calves, chicken eggs, turkeys, hogs, honey, and farm chickens.

13. Illinois
Produce – corn, soybeans, green peas, snap beans, wheat, mushrooms, potatoes, pumpkin, potatoes, apples, sweet corn, peaches, sorghum, snap beans, oats, rye, and green peas.
Animal products – hogs, cattle and calves, dairy products, chicken eggs, honey, broilers, and farm chickens.

14. Indiana
Produce – soybeans, snap beans, green peas, wheat, oats, sorghum, corn, sweet corn, apples, peaches, watermelon, tomatoes, cantaloupe, potatoes, peppermint, spearmint, maple products, and pumpkins.
Animal products – hogs, dairy products, chicken eggs, turkeys, cattle and calves, broilers, honey, and farm chickens.

15. Iowa
Produce – corn, soybeans, oats, wheat, and mushrooms.
Animal products – hogs, cattle and calves, dairy products, chicken eggs, turkeys, broilers, honey, and farm chickens.

16. Kansas
Produce – corn, soybeans, wheat, sorghum, sunflower, potatoes, canola, rye, oats, and mushrooms.
Animal products – cattle and calves, dairy products, hogs, chicken eggs, turkeys, honey, and farm chickens.

17. Kentucky
Produce – soybeans, corn, wheat, honey, and mushrooms.
Animal products – broilers, cattle and calves, dairy products, chicken eggs, hogs, turkeys, farm chickens, and honey.

18. Louisiana
Produce – soybeans, sugarcane, corn, rice, sweet potato, mushrooms, pecans, honey, sorghum, and wheat.
Animal products – broilers, cattle and calves, chicken eggs, dairy products, honey, hogs, and farm chickens.

19. Maine
Produce – oats, barley, corn, apples, blueberries, potatoes, and maple syrup.
Animal products – dairy products, chicken eggs, turkeys, cattle and calves, honey, hogs, and farm chickens.

20. Maryland
Produce – soybeans, snap beans, barley, wheat, corn, sweet corn, watermelon, peaches, apples, spinach, and potatoes.
Animal products – broilers, dairy products, cattle and calves, chicken eggs, turkeys, hogs, honey, and farm chickens.

21. Massachusetts
Produce – cranberries, apples, mushrooms, and maple syrup.
Animal products – dairy products, turkeys, cattle and calves, chicken eggs, hogs, trout, honey, and farm chickens.

22. Michigan
Produce – soybeans, snap beans, rye, corn, wheat, sweet corn, oats, barley, cabbage, carrots, pumpkin, bell peppers, celery, asparagus, tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, potatoes, grapes, peaches, cherries, onion, apples, mushrooms, sugar beets, spearmint oil, and maple syrup.
Animal products – dairy products, cattle and calves, hogs, chicken eggs, turkeys, broilers, honey, trout, and farm chickens.

23. Minnesota
Produce – corn, soybeans, sugar beets, wheat, potatoes, dry beans, sweet corn, green peas, barley, apples, sunflower, mushrooms, canola, oats, rye, snap beans, pumpkins, and maple products.
Animal produce – hogs, cattle and calves, dairy products, turkeys, broilers, chicken eggs, honey, and farm chickens.

24. Mississippi
Produce – soybeans, corn, rice, sweet potatoes, peanuts, mushrooms, sorghum, wheat, and blueberries.
Animal products – broilers, catfish, chicken eggs, cattle and calves, hogs, dairy products, farm chickens, and honey.

25. Missouri
Produce – soybeans, corn, wheat, rice, potatoes, watermelon, sorghum, peaches, grapes, oats, and mushrooms.
Animal products – cattle and calves, hogs, broilers, turkeys, dairy products, chicken eggs, catfish, trout, honey, and farm chickens.

26. Montana
Produce – wheat, barley, lentils, dry beans, sugar beets, dry peas, potatoes, canola, corn, mustard seed, safflower, mushrooms, flaxseed, and oats.
Animal products – cattle and calves, hogs, dairy products, honey, chicken eggs, turkeys, and farm chickens.

27. Nebraska
Produce – corn, soybeans, wheat, dry beans, potatoes, sugar beets, sorghum, sunflower, millet, dry peas, mushrooms, oats, and rye.
Animal products – cattle and calves, hogs, dairy products, chicken eggs, broilers, turkeys, honey, trout, and farm chickens.

28. Nevada
Produce – onions and wheat.
Animal products – cattle and calves, dairy products, chicken eggs, turkeys, trout, honey, hogs, and farm chickens.

29. New Hampshire
Produce – maple products and mushrooms.
Animal products – dairy products, chicken eggs, turkeys, cattle and calves, trout, hogs, and farm chickens.

30. New Jersey
Produce – blueberries, peaches, tomatoes, apples, bell peppers, corn, soybeans, sweet corn, cranberries, squash, potatoes, asparagus, spinach, pumpkins, wheat, snap beans, cucumbers, and mushrooms.
Animal products – chicken eggs, dairy products, turkeys, cattle and calves, honey, trout, hogs, and farm chickens.

31. New Mexico
Produce – pecans, onions, Chile peppers, corn, wheat, peanuts, sorghum, and mushrooms.
Animal products – dairy products, cattle and calves, chicken eggs, turkeys, trout, honey, hogs, and farm chickens.

32. New York
Produce – apples, corn, soybeans, grapes, cabbage, potatoes, onions, wheat, sweet corn, maple products, squash, peaches, pumpkins, strawberries, green peas, bell peppers, blueberries, cherries, oats, and mushrooms.
Animal products – dairy products, cattle and calves, chicken eggs, turkeys, honey, broilers, hogs, trout, and farm chickens.

33. North Carolina
Produce – soybeans, corn, sweet potatoes, peanuts, tomatoes, wheat, blueberries, cucumbers, potatoes, bell peppers, apples, strawberries, watermelon, pumpkin, cabbage, squash, snap beans, rye, cantaloupe, grapes, sorghum, peaches, oats, and mushrooms.
Animal products – broilers, hogs, turkeys, chicken eggs, cattle and calves, dairy products, trout, farm chickens, catfish, and honey.

34. North Dakota
Produce – soybeans, wheat, corn, canola, dry beans, sugar beets, potatoes, sunflower, barley, dry peas, lentils, flaxseed, oats, mustard seed, rye, and safflower.
Animal products – cattle and calves, honey, dairy products, hogs, chicken eggs, turkeys, and farm chickens.

35. Ohio
Produce – soybeans, corn, wheat, tomatoes, sweet corn, bell peppers, apples, cucumbers, pumpkin, peaches, maple products, grapes, onions, oats, and mushrooms.
Animal products – dairy products, hogs, cattle and calves, chicken eggs, broilers, turkeys, honey, and farm chickens.

36. Oklahoma
Produce – wheat, soybeans, corn, sorghum, pecans, peanuts, rye, mushrooms, and oats.
Animal products – cattle and calves, hogs, dairy products, chicken eggs, turkeys, farm chickens, and honey.

37. Oregon
Produce – wheat, pears, grapes, potatoes, blueberries, onions, hazelnuts, cherries, hops, peppermint, apples, sweet corn, corn, blackberries, mushrooms, sugar beets, cranberries,  squash, strawberries, snap beans, pumpkin, barley, green peas, raspberries, spearmint, green lima beans, dry peas, mustard seed, canola, boysenberry, rapeseed, and oats.
Animal products – cattle and calves,  dairy products, broilers, chicken eggs, turkeys, honey, trout, and hogs.

38. Pennsylvania
Produce – mushrooms, corn, soybeans, apples, wheat, sweet corn, grapes, peaches, pumpkin, bell peppers, barley, maple products, oats, cantaloupe, and rye.
Animal products – dairy products, cattle and calves, broilers, chicken eggs, hogs, turkeys, trout, honey, and farm chickens.

39. Rhode Island
Produce – mushrooms.
Animal products – chicken eggs, turkeys, dairy products, cattle and calves, hogs, honey, and farm chickens.

40. South Carolina
Produce – corn, soybeans, peanuts, watermelon, tomatoes, peaches, wheat, cantaloupe, cucumber, oats, rye, and mushrooms.
Animal products – broilers, cattle and calves, chicken eggs, dairy products, turkeys, hogs, honey, and farm chickens.

41. South Dakota
Produce – corn, soybeans, wheat, sunflower, sorghum, oats, dry peas, rye, millet, safflower, and flaxseed.
Animal products – cattle and calves, hogs, dairy products, turkeys, chicken eggs, honey, and farm chickens.

42. Tennessee
Produce – soybeans, corn, wheat, mushrooms, tomatoes, pumpkins, and snap beans.
Animal products – cattle and calves, broilers, dairy products, hogs, chicken eggs, turkeys, honey, farm chickens, and trout.

43. Texas
Produce – corn, sorghum, wheat, peanuts, rice, potatoes, watermelon, pecans, grapefruit, onions, soybeans, cabbage, spinach, grapes, sugarcane, oranges, pumpkin, carrots, cucumbers, sunflower, Chile peppers, snap beans, squash, dry beans, mushrooms, peaches, rye, cantaloupe, and oats.
Animal products – cattle and calves, broilers, dairy products, chicken eggs, hogs, turkeys, honey, catfish, and farm chickens.

44. Utah
Produce – wheat, mushrooms, corn, cherries, onions, peaches, barley, and safflower.
Animal products – cattle and calves, dairy products, chicken eggs, turkeys, honey, trout, and farm chickens.

45. Vermont
Produce – maple products, apples, and mushrooms.
Animal products – dairy products, cattle and calves, turkeys, chicken eggs, honey, hogs, and farm chickens.

46. Virginia
Produce – soybeans, corn, apples, wheat, peanuts, tomatoes, grapes, potatoes, peaches, pumpkin, barley, mushrooms, sweet corn, and green Lima beans.
Animal products – broilers, cattle and calves, dairy products, turkeys, chicken eggs, hogs, trout, farm chickens, and honey.

47. Washington
Produce – apples, wheat, potatoes, cherries, hops, grapes, pears, onions, blueberries, sweet corn, corn, dry beans, raspberries, mushrooms, spearmint, carrots, dry peas, peppermint, asparagus, snap beans, lentils, canola, green peas, barley, peaches, nectarines, apricot, pumpkin, green Lima beans, strawberries, cranberries, mustard seeds, sugar beets, rapeseed, and oats.
Animal products – dairy products, cattle and calves, chicken eggs, broilers, turkeys, trout, honey, and hogs.

48. West Virginia
Produce – apples, corn, soybeans, peaches, wheat, maple products, and mushrooms.
Animal products – cattle and calves, broilers, turkeys, chicken eggs, dairy products, trout, farm chickens, honey, and hogs.

49. Wisconsin
Produce – corn, soybeans, potatoes, cranberries, wheat, sweet corn, snap beans, apples, cabbage, green peas, onions, cucumbers, carrots, oats, rye, maple products, green Lima beans, peppermint, pumpkin, mushrooms, and cherries.
Animal products – dairy products, cattle and calves, broilers, hogs, chicken eggs, turkeys, honey, trout, and farm chickens.

50. Wyoming
Produce – corn, sugar beets, barley, dry beans, wheat, and oats.
Animal products – cattle and calves, hogs, dairy products, chicken eggs, turkeys, honey, and trout.

Some other products may be grown or produced in some of these states. There are categories like “other animal products” and “miscellaneous crops” that may produce foods not specified because these markets individually aren’t as mainstream or as large in production. So, if it’s at your farmer’s market it’s likely local. Many states also grow hay, cotton, and tobacco. Foods produced per state based on latest data from 2017.

Now grab your reusable bags and head out for some local, in-season food that hasn’t traveled thousands of miles to your grocery store. Take note of the states surrounding yours also. That way, maybe some foods have only traveled a few hundred miles instead. Choose lots of plant foods and don’t be afraid to try new varieties. Your state may offer unique species of foods that may not be found in other states (like less popular squashes, lettuces, apples, etc.). Happy shopping!

References:


1. USDA. Summary data on annual food imports, values and volume by food category and source country, 1999-2017. Accessed on May 12, 2019. Www.fas.usda.gov/gats

2. USDA. Accessed on May 12, 2019.
https://data.ers.usda.gov/reports.aspx?ID=17843#Pfc5ebc1ced8f4aafa437642705a2184a_4_17iT0R0x7

3. Alabama Farmers Federation. Accessed on May 12, 2019. http://m.alfafarmers.org/programs/divisions/commodities/peanuts

4. State of Alaska Department of Natural Resources. Accessed on May 12, 2019. http://plants.alaska.gov/Potato.html

5. Arkansas Farm Bureau. Accessed on May 12, 2019. https://www.arfb.com/pages/arkansas-agriculture/commodity-corner/rice/

Written by Stacy Ramirez, MS, RDN, LD

PHOTOS COURTESY OF PIXABAY.COM

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