Half of all processed tomatoes that California exports go to Canada. At the same time, the U.S. imports $36 million of Canadian processed tomatoes yearly.
The US imports $19 million of Canadian cherries a year, while Canada is the second most important destination for California cherries.
20% of Californian table grapes are sent to China. China is the world’s largest producer of table grapes.
These statements were taken from a speech given by Anuradha Mittal, executive director of the Oakland Institute, as reported by Jennifer Maiser, on her blog Life Begins @ 30. Ms. Mittal makes a powerful argument for local and non-corporate food purchasing.
The blog article concludes with this
So what do we do with all of this information? We can continue to spread the word, and talk about the importance of buying local. When purchasing food, we can look at where it is coming from. We can ask ourselves if there are any local, in season alternatives to buying imported food.
Unlike so many things that are out of our control in this world, this is a decision that we can make daily, several times a day. Even if we all made the decision to buy 10% of our products locally, that would begin to make a huge difference in our communities — and maybe more importantly, it would begin to send a strong message to our government and to the large corporations that these are issues that we care about, and that it is something that we are going to pay attention to.
Read the rest of the article here.