Simple fact: Fresh produce loses nutritional value after it’s harvested.
During a conversation with Jesse Hull, Director of Horticulture at Sweetwater Organics, Milwaukee, I learned a really interesting statistic - leafy vegetables for example, lose 50
to 89% of their vitamin C within 24 to 48 hours after harvest.
One of the hidden advantages of buying locally grown produce is the short transit time between farm and market. For example, all of the greens grown at Sweetwater Organics are distributed within twenty-four hours of harvest to local restaurants and farmer’s markets in Milwaukee.
While their produce may be more expensive than food farmed further away (a bag of greens costs about $4) - it also likely contains at least TWICE as many nutrients.
Farmers sell (and we buy) crops by weight, but rather than dollars per pound, really it’s the nutrients that should matter. Growing nutritious crops, and providing fresh food to consumers would have a tremendous impact on our health – definitely something to consider when evaluating the costs and benefits of buying organic and local produce, or starting up local farming initiatives.
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