Why Buying Local is Sustainable

Transportation

Our Rainwater Navel Oranges travel about 35 minutes from farm to the Co-op. This travel time is essential when considering the carbon footprint of your food. The more miles food travels during transportation, the more fossil fuels are burned, allowing harmful greenhouse gas emissions to be released into the atmosphere. Imported food often travels thousands of miles to get there, all through lengthy truck and plane trips. This not only causes massive fuel consumption and pollution, but also involves the need for facilities such as refrigeration that consumers vast amounts of energy. Compared to Florida Natural’s orange juice, Rainwater Ranch’s transportation emissions are insignificant. Florida Natural’s orange juice has to travel over 2500 miles to get to our shelves.

Although Florida’s Natural travels far to get here, we still love them. They are a Farmer Co-op! So although they may not be the most environmentally sustainable orange product at the Co-op, they are economically sustainable and follow the Seven Co-operative Principles. 

Local Economy

Yolo County is surrounded by farmland. This means that many of our neighbors are farmers. Buying locally means that you are directly supporting the financial success of your neighbor and our local economy. When a local business is successfully operating, they utilize and support other local businesses to operate, and hire local people to help run the business. Shopping local provides jobs and keeps money in our local economy!

Freshness 

This one isn’t really about sustainability but still important! Local produce can be harvested at peak ripeness since it doesn’t have to travel far. Out of state and imported produce is harvested long before it is ripe, so it will still be edible after travel. Many imported goods ripen too quick and often go bad before they are purchased, producing lots of waste. By buying local, this is avoided and food waste is significantly less. Produce that ripens on the vine/bush/tree also taste better! They ripen with all the nutrients and water they need to mature properly. Local tastes better.