Traveling Vegetables

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After food-mapping, I was a bit disheartened to see that our vegetables come from all over North America, despite Florida’s fertile soil and year-round sun. I predicted that much of America’s produce comes from California, because born and raised there, I’m aware of its vast farmland and impeccable growing conditions. Nonetheless, I’m unsure as to why our vegetables aren’t local or from some region of Florida. Even at grocery stores, you’ll see that most of the produce comes from elsewhere. It’s hard for people who work or who go to school to shop at farmers markets as they are expensive and occur very infrequently. Thus, I think it’s important that Florida grocers make more of an effort to carry locally-sourced produce, especially fruits and vegetables that are easy to grow in Florida conditions. It must be cheaper to source produce from other places in the U.S. but that highlights the need to utilize Florida’s natural resources so that it does not have to resort elsewhere.

Oil Map

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The map above shows all the oil products inventoried, with the US states color coded by Hispanic population.  It’s hard to draw meaningful conclusions from the data, as we only had around 17 items.  A few observations from the map:

General

-The average distance of the Oil products analyzed was 2871 km

-The butter and peanut butter analyzed were from the midwest, with the salted butter imported from Ireland

-We imported avocados from Mexico, but some avocados, avocado oil, and coconut oil were from California.

State Characteristics and Product Origin

-According to the US Department of Labor, more than 78% of migrant workers are Hispanic.  Domestic avocados, which need to be hand clipped, and avocado oil all came from states within the highest category of Hispanic population.

-Aside from Illinois, every state in the midwest was in the lowest category of Hispanic population.  Many associate the midwest with agriculture, particularly for animals, grains and fruits and vegetables that can grow in cooler weather.  While production is still labor intensive, it mostly relies on machinery, with less need for migrant workers.

Oil Map

The oil map that we created showed the same results as all of the other food categories — a lot of the oil products we consume are not locally produced! Many of the brand names that we look for tend to have distribution centers not in Florida.This exercise helped to cement the fact that we should be conscientious of the food products we buy in order to improve sustainability.

Protein Map (:

 

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In doing the Fridge Inventory, and focusing this map on the sources of protein, I was pleasantly surprised to see that a large amount of the protein comes from the United States. That being said, some of the protein we are consuming is still coming from places as far as Southern American, and Central to Eastern Europe. I believe that especially in the case of protein, we should try to stay as local as possible. With meat, there should be the most amount of regulation and scrutiny to make sure that the animals are treated humanely. I believe that the most amount regulation control can be achieved by staying local. All in all, I would like to continue to explore doing inventories such as these but in more detail to found out the specific sources of meat. I believe the industry of meat is one needing the most scrutiny and reform since we are talking about other live animals.

Fridge Inventory Lab: Dairy Flow Map

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Based on the map, most of the dairy products that the class is using is from the United States, with the exception of a couple in Europe and one in the middle east. the other attribute in this map that was displayed is the number of people aged between 18-25 years old. This exercise was really eye opening and it’s amazing how far away all these products are yet it’s so convenient and available for us consumers to buy.

There weren’t any local dairy distributors, which show that the majority of the big grocery stores that the class buys from doesn’t carry local products.

Group Names: Brian, Celeste Lim

Traveling Fruits

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Based on this map, most of the fruits we eat are not grown in Florida. We are importing a lot of fruits from around the United States and from other countries. Because fruits are very seasonal and only grow under certain conditions at certain times of the year, it makes sense that we are importing them from other places if they are currently out of season in Florida. There are so many local farms in Florida, especially up in Homestead, so it seem silly to be purchasing fruits that are coming from so far away. I will definitely be making  more conscious effort to buy fruits that are locally grown only. Not only does it seem ridiculous to buy fruits that are coming all the way from other countries, but the shipping methods contribute to climate change and global warming, which is something I do not want to contribute to.

 

 

Group Members: Rachel Tammone, Katrina Stegmann, Alia Giolitti, Danny Miranda, Lorena Claure