Most of us, used to shopping in grocery stores that provide produce from around the world in all seasons, have lost touch with our local growing cycles.
Just because you can buy lettuce all year round, doesn't mean that lettuce can be grown all year round in your region.
While the convenience and nutrition that comes from access to a wide variety of fruits and vegetables is nice, the environmental impact of shipping all those foods across the country or world can be steep. And many of us want to support local farms -- and the rural landscape -- by purchasing locally grown foods.
To help, Natural Resources Defense Council has created a new widget that allows you to search for seasonal produce by state and season. It won't tell you if that asparagus in the supermarket was actually grown locally, but it will tell you if it could have been, based on local growing conditions.
It's a good place to start for anyone trying to reduce their "food miles," and a useful tool for anyone curious about where food comes from. Check it out:
Enter your city or zip code to get your local temperature and air quality and find local green food and recycling resources near you.