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

COMPLETE FOOD GUIDE FOR YOUR GREENEST SELF

Alright tree huggers! If you’re ready to take your diet to expert green level, follow these simple tips about how to eat, stock your kitchen, store your food, and save it from going bad or heading to the landfill.

The life cycle of food includes the production, processing, transportation, storage, retail, and consumption and disposal of that given food. Coming up are tips for each of these practices.



How to eat


1. Eat less overall – in developed countries like the US it’s not uncommon for us to overeat. This leads to weight gain that could lead to obesity, which increases your risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers. Many resources go into growing, processing, and transporting foods – water use, land use, potential fertilizer and pesticide use, hard work by farmers and farm workers, tractors and farm equipment, gas and oil, refrigeration of foods on farms/trucks during transport, trucks/planes/boats for moving food, vitamins and minerals to potentially fortify foods (like refined grains, milk and plant “mylks”, specialty bars & powders, some snack foods), store space, food packaging… By eating food that meets your needs most of the time, you are contributing to a healthier body and planet.


2. Eat less meat, eggs, seafood, and dairy foods – these foods are responsible for more greenhouse gases, more land use, more water use, and more nitrogen and phosphorus application per serving compared to plant protein sources like nuts, seeds, beans, and peas. Watch your seafood consumption as many areas are being overfished, affecting the food chain overall. You can get your protein from these foods in plants (like beans, nuts, seeds, and peas) as well as other nutrients from a balanced primarily plant-based diet.


3. Eat more legumes and tree nuts – these foods offer healthy fats, fiber, protein, and often more vitamins and minerals per gram compared to meat. Plus they use much less water, land, fertilizer, pesticides, and energy than beef.


4. Eat less processed foods and more whole foods – processed foods usually have added salt, preservatives, sugar and/or food colorings. Plus the processing in itself tends to remove natural vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fibers that are naturally present in food. Try to eat whole foods instead or foods that are not refined. Try making your processed favorites at home if you can.

How to shop


1. Buy less processed foods – energy goes into processing of foods – just one more step added to the resources used in order to make food. Processed foods also tend to come in lots of packaging. And it’s not good for you typically so limit these foods.


2. Buy more whole foods – they’re better for you, undergo less if any processing, and can often be found package-free (in the produce section if you use your own bags or in the bulk section)


3. Buy foods in bulk with your own cloth/mesh bags – or your reused plastic produce bags from a previous trip. If you don’t have bulk bins accessible to you, try buying bigger bags or cans of essentials to you (rice, pasta, dry beans, frozen fruit/veggies, meats) – just try and make sure you buy the amount you will be sure to use before it goes bad. That way you will not waste food or money you spent on that food!


4. Buy things you know you will eat – sometimes we want to try new foods or recipes and that is all good and well! If you end up not liking that food or recipe, gift it to a friend or if its unopened you can donate it to a food bank, church, or food drive. On the other hand, if you know you don’t like broccoli and you keep buying broccoli but it is laid to rest in your veggie crisper, maybe stop buying that pesky broccoli!


5. Buy local – try to buy in your country, even in your state or county if possible. You can try to connect with local farmers at farmers markets and sometimes smaller grocery stores that connect with local farmers. This is becoming more mainstream as farmer’s markets and buying local popularity is growing.


6. Buy in-season – Buying in season means the food tastes better, looks better, and the price is better! Supporting in-season allows food to be grown the way it would grow out on it’s own in nature, where the temperature, rainfall, wind, and climate overall is just right for the perfect yield. We have all bought strawberries out of season at some point…and they aren’t great. That’s because they are best in spring and summer!


7. Buy organic when possible – it’s more pricey and there is usually not as big of a selection, but it’s the better option for the environment. Synthetic fertilizers and pesticides aren’t allowed, so alternative means for pest control and soil health are used instead which is better for our planet in so many ways.


8. Buy the ugly produce and products with damaged packaging (as long as it isn’t open and exposing food contents) – many people won’t and those foods may end up unsold and thrown out by the stores. It tastes the same, I promise! Consider subscribing to “ugly food boxes” if they’re available in your area.


How to stock your kitchen and store your food


1. Buy kitchen tools and appliances secondhand – secondhand shops and garage sales are almost always full of them. You can also check out online sale groups, like Craigslist or Facebook marketplace – even Ebay (but shipping charges may eat your money up).


2. Buy kitchen appliances energy-efficient – if you are in the market for something shiny and new with hopes of a lower electric bill, invest in newer energy-efficient appliances like a fridge, microwave, or stove/oven combo. Ask yourself what appliances you really even need. A toaster, a full size oven with 6 burners on the stovetop, a blender? Buy what is right for you/your family and leave the rest behind.


3. Consider these tips for saving energy in the kitchen – Unplug appliances when you are finished using them since sometimes they still use electricity. Also try to keep a full fridge as it helps the fridge use less power to keep everything cold inside. Don’t lower the temp too much or you will waste energy that way too.


4. Learn proper storage of foods – learn whether foods should be stored in the fridge, in the dark, away from certain foods, in water, in closed containers, or in bags with holes. That way you aren’t having food go bad prematurely and will have less food waste.


5. Eat leftovers – some people are not fans of leftovers and I will never understand why! If it stores well in the fridge, eat it within day or two. Just make sure you are following proper food safety guidelines by cooling and reheating foods properly. Freeze them if you don’t plan on eating leftovers within 48 hours. You can also repurpose your leftovers into a whole new recipe – shows on the Food Network has had chefs do some pretty cool remakes of leftovers!

BONUS ROUND! Your last attempt at keeping it green.

How to save food from waste


1. If fruit and veggies are on the verge of going bad, throw them in a smoothie or a soup.


2. If you know you won’t be able to use all the fruit and veggies that are on the verge of going back, stick them in the freezer for another time or dry/dehydrate them (for chips or dried fruit snacks).


3. Give your leftovers to someone who you know will eat them if you won’t be able to before they spoil.


4. Donate unopened foods you know you won’t use or didn’t like to a food pantry, food bank, food drive, family in need, or church/other center that organizes the such.


5. If all else fails, COMPOST! That way the nutrients in the food are recycled back into soil to nourish the earth and future plants for new food growth.

Missing something from the list? Drop a comment or email me at s_morris1066@yahoo.com so I can keep the list growing!

Written by Stacy Ramirez, MS, RDN, LD

PHOTOS COURTESY OF WWW.PIXABAY.COM