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Tuesday, February 01, 2011 

An unnerving statistic I learned at the Edible Insititute

Here in Santa Barbara, I have always felt blessed with the amount of local food provided at local Farmer's Markets and various stores. Imagine my surprise and shock to find that Santa Barbara County "IMPORTS" more than 95% of it's fruits and vegetables.

The county ranks 24th nationally in the value of its agricultural production – $951 million in the 2007 ag census. The county, which has 11 farmers markets, ranks No. 2 in broccoli and cauliflower, 6th for lettuce and 24th overall in the category of vegetables, melons, potatoes and sweet potatoes. If local veggies aren’t enough for you, try the pistachios, grown in the Sierra Madre Range that rises above the Pacific. Lemons, oranges and grapefruit grow in the heart of city of Santa Barbara, including on the grounds of the city’s famed 18th century mission that overlooks the ocean. Restaurants offer local swordfish.

But more than 95 percent of the fruits and vegetables consumed in the county are brought in from elsewhere, said David Cleveland, a professor of environmental studies at the University of California-Santa Barbara. Meanwhile, 99 percent of what the county does produce goes elsewhere, according to his research.

And oh yes, here in this land of plenty of fruits and vegetables,four in 10 adults are households classified as food insecure.  More than half of adults are overweight or obese. - DesMoines Register

We have GOT to change this.

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