Did you know that the average American produce travels 1,500 miles before it lands on your table? The fewer the miles on a car, the less the wear and tear on the vehicle (and the greater its value). Similarly, the fewer the miles fresh produce travels before being consumed, the better it tastes and the less impact on the environment it makes. This is why many Americans are adopting the “100 Mile Diet,” which promotes eating fresh local foods within 100 miles to insure peak freshness and nutritional value.
It’s like we say, the nearer the farm to the fork, the better the flavor.
Here are just a few reasons why:
- A recent study showed that all locally grown food combined still produced less carbon dioxide emissions in transport than a single imported produce item.
- Carbon emissions won’t directly influence tonight’s dinner, but how long it takes for food to get to your table can affect its taste. From the moment produce is harvested, it’s a race against time to get it to your table. Produce and raw foods have a short shelf life, which makes the long-distance travel a challenge.
- Many suppliers have processes that extend the shelf life of fresh foods, but these methods can prevent the produce from developing their full, broad range of vitamins and minerals, making them less nutrient-dense and flavorful than local foods.
So, if you want to consider going on the 100 Mile Diet or reduce your carbon footprint, the Greensboro Curb Market is a great place to start. All of their vendors, such as Smith Farms, are located within 100 miles of the market, ensuring that you have access to the freshest local produce when you shop at the Curb Market.
Every Tuesday through Thursday during their growing season, you can spot the Smith Farms Mobile Market. They pack up their produce and take it to six different locations across Guilford and Alamance counties, including the Curb Market and Piedmont Triad Farmer’s Market, as well as local hospitals and restaurants (like none other than Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen in Greensboro). They feature squash, zucchini, cucumbers, green beans, peppers, various field peas, October beans, butter beans, potatoes and tomatoes (even vine-ripened tomatoes up until frost). This fall look for sweet potatoes and soon they’ll have cabbage and broccoli.
The folks at Smith Farms believe that in order to get fresh produce from the field and onto a plate, you have to move it quickly – which means the farmer needs to have outlet options every day of the week. Some of their produce gets harvested and packaged daily (squash, zucchini and cucumbers), while others are harvested two to three times a week (tomatoes, corn, beans). Smith Farms work diligently six days a week to ensure that fresh-picked produce is available for you to enjoy. At Lucky’s, you can savor a variety of their fresh produce in our menu items that range from a side of Smith Farms’ corn to summer squash with roasted tomato sauce; on your way out, take home their zucchini, squash, tomatoes and pink-eyed peas, by stopping by our Veggie Cart.
Squash with Roasted Tomato Sauce
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 pounds zucchini
- 2 pounds yellow squash
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups Roasted Tomato Sauce (see recipe)
Wash squash and slice into ½ inch half moons.
Heat butter (or canola oil) in a large sauté pan. Add squash and gently turn to
coat with butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper, gently turning to combine.
Add Roasted Tomato Sauce and gently turn to evenly distribute the sauce.
Continue to turn until vegetables are just starting to soften.
Makes 8-10 portions
Roasted Tomato Sauce
- 2½ pounds fresh tomatoes
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
- 2-3 fluid ounces canola oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Wash tomatoes and remove the stems. Slice tomatoes in half horizontally and place in a large mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients to the bowl and toss until tomatoes are well coated in oil, herbs and seasoning.
Place tomatoes on a sheet tray, cut side down. Pour remaining oil and seasoning over
tomatoes. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10-12 minutes or until tomatoes are soft. Remove from oven. Remove and discard garlic cloves. With a whisk, break up tomatoes.
Makes 2½ cups
Disclaimer: All our recipes were originally designed for much larger batch size. This recipe has been reduced – but not tested at this scale. Please adjust to your taste and portion size.
If you interested in reading more about food miles visit:
Posted September 2016