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Food Miles – the Environmental Cost of Imported Salad Greens

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For those of us who consider the environmental impact of our shopping decisions, a factor that encourages choosing locally grown produce rather than imported is food miles. With a quick look at Wikipedia, we see food miles defined as “… the distance food is transported from the time of its making until it reaches the consumer. Food miles are one factor used when testing the environmental impact of food, such as the carbon footprint of the food.”

food miles comparison - imported organic salad greens vs. honest greens bermuda

So let’s compare the food miles and environmental impact associated with transporting produce from Honest Greens Bermuda vs. produce from Earthbound Farm or Organic Girl (two popular imported organic produce brands that can be found in local grocery stores).

For Honest Greens Bermuda, no matter where you live on island, our locally grown produce should travel no more than 20 miles from our greenhouse to your home.

For the imported comparable brands, you are looking at the distance from the farms ( located in California) to the consolidation facility to the processing / packaging facility. The packaged produce is then freighted from either California to New Jersey (approximately 3,000 miles) or California to Florida (approximately 2,700 miles). From New Jersey we are then looking at another approximately 800 miles to Bermuda in a container ship. From Florida, you are looking at approximately 1,000 miles to Bermuda. Once in Bermuda, the produce will travel to a facility where the container can be broken down and then further distributed to the grocery store shelves and from there the produce will make its final journey on the way home with the customer.

All in all, we are looking at let’s say a maximum of 20 miles for locally grown produce versus 3,700 to 4,000 or MORE food miles for imported!

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