Green Tips: Winter Fruits and Veggies
Green Tips | December 9, 2022
Shipping goods via truck, plane, train and ship is a significant contributor to carbon pollution. This is why it’s imperative to shop locally, including locally grown and harvested food.
As winter sets in, this can become a challenge for many people, particularly if you are prone to enjoying fruits and vegetables grown in warm climates.
But there are wonderful options locally, and the New York League of Conservation Voters asks everyone to look for new ways to enjoy the fruits and vegetables produced within a relatively short drive from where you live.
This effort starts with finding your local farmers’ market. The five boroughs of New York City have 138 farmers’ markets listed. NewYork state has more than 660 farmers’ markets, farm stands and mobile farm trucks.
Although some markets close in November, many of the markets in New York City and around the state are open year-round, and traveling a little further to find an open market is worth it.
GROWNYC lists the many advantages of buying local fruits and vegetables, from better taste and nutrition–because there is a much shorter time between harvest and consumption–to supporting local farmers’ and local economies, to maintaining open space across the region.
“When farmers’ get paid more for their products by marketing locally, they are less likely to sell their farmland for development,” GROWNYC states on its website.
Regarding the environmental savings, GROWNYC states simply, “Transporting food long distances uses tremendous energy: it takes 435 fossil-fuel calories to fly a 5 calorie strawberry from California to New York.” Fossil-fuel calories are derived from the carbon footprint left by the growth, harvest, processing and distribution of a certain food. For a deeper dive into this important subject, read more at overshootday.org.
GROWNYC has a chart listing the many local fruits and vegetables available all or most of winter in the Northeast. They are beans, cabbage, carrots, onions, parsnips, potatoes, beets, collard greens, leeks, winter squash, turnips, apples and pears.
All of these fruits and veggies can make a delicious recipe meal including stews, roasts, soups, sauces, omelets, pastas, and pies. Below are some recipes for meals using in-seasons foods:
- The Food Network lists 25 great apple pie recipes.
- Bon Appetit has an article on exotic recipes for root vegetables.
- Yankee Magazine, allrecipes and The NY Times and many others have enough recipes for winter fruits and vegetables to fill a lifetime. Just Google away and a recipe will pop up.
If you can’t find a farmers’ market, ask your local grocer what they have in stock that’s local. If they don’t have what you want, ask them if they can get it.
Buy local, eat local. It’s a great way to help our environment, while also supporting local economies.
By Peter Aronson< Back to Citizen’s Toolkit
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© 2017 New York League of Conservation Voters Education Fund. All rights reserved.