Our Take on the Rise of Imported Produce to the U.S.

Reading Time | 3 mins


June 3rd, 2019

By Plenty Farms

The New York Times recently published a fascinating piece about the exponential increase in imported fresh fruits and vegetables to the U.S.

In the last 30 years, imported fresh fruit rose from 23% to 53%. If you think that’s a lot, consider that veggie imports have gone from 5.8% to 31.1%. That’s quite a jump.

This story on the globalization of the produce industry impacting what we eat in America suggests that consumers must choose between delicious, backyard-fresh, nutritious, available, affordable, or homegrown when buying produce.

We respectfully disagree with that paradox of choice. Innovative agricultural practices, like indoor farming, provide a path to have it all.

Here’s how:

  • Building farms near where people live means produce goes from farm to table in hours, not weeks as is true today.
  • Delivering produce a its peak deliciousness transforms it from something we know we should eat to an everyday indulgence we can’t wait to eat.
  • Indoor farms like Plenty’s will grow everything from strawberries to tomatoes to carrots and, yes, greens – all using dramatically less water, land, and time.
  • Locating farms in the heart of the communities they serve and employing local talent means truly homegrown produce AND productivity

All this means consumers win at the dinner table and beyond.

And while produce imports have been growing rapidly, indoor agriculture is poised to quickly add significant new domestic agricultural capacity in the coming years as new forms of food production become a necessity.

We don’t claim to have all the answers. No one does. What we do know is this: today, eating local is a luxury and a privilege, but indoor agriculture will democratize access to locally-grown, affordable food.

At the end of the day, our goal here at Plenty is to keep our domestic produce industry strong and bring delicious, backyard-fresh produce to everyone, everywhere.

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