Saturday, February 3, 2007

Conventional Absurdity

For a quick snapshot of how our food currently moves from farm to table, consider these facts compiled in a May/June 2006 Mother Jones article, sourced from the Agricultural Marketing Research Center, International Society for Ecology and Culture, and USDA.
  • In 2004, the U.S. exported nearly $20 million worth of lettuce—over 3/4 of it grown in California—to Mexico. The same year, it imported $20 million worth of Mexican lettuce.
  • While California-grown brussels sprouts head north to Canada, the state imports them from Belgium and Mexico.
  • Half of California’s processed tomato exports go to Canada, which ships $36 million worth of processed tomatoes to the U.S. annually.

  • In 2003, New York shipped $1.1 million worth of California almonds to Italy, while importing $1.1 million worth of almonds from Italy.

  • California sells $18 million worth of asparagus abroad. $39 million worth of asparagus comes into the state from other countries.

  • International strawberry imports to California peak during the state’s strawberry season.

  • 20% of California’s table grapes go to China, the world’s largest producer of table grapes.

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