You've heard it a million times: Buy local. Here's why: Buying local cuts down on something called "food miles," or how far your food has been shipped. The blueberries you buy at the grocery store may have been air-freighted from Chile, which means those bite-size delights have a monster-sized carbon footprint. Even food with a "Made in the USA" label has likely been hauled a long way. On average, produce in the United States travels anywhere from 1,300 to 2,000 miles (2,092 to 3,218 kilometers) from the farm to the grocery store. If you want to calculate your foods' carbon footprint, put a "carbon footprint calculator" to work. You can find a food-specific calculator at Eatlowcarbon.org.
You'll also find that blueberries and other fruits and veggies taste better when they've only traveled 10 or so miles to your local farmers' market. Plus, buying local can provide some health benefits you wouldn't expect. For example, many allergy specialists recommend buying local honey. Because the bees live in your area, the honey contains the immune-stimulating compounds that help your body adapt to the world around it.