Musings of a Beaverton Teen: Eating local and fresh

By Kili Garcia (10th Grader)

Biting into the crisp, sweet apples at Kiyokawa Orchard on my annual apple picking trip made me start to think about how you can’t just buy these fresh, tasty treats anywhere. When fruit is grown at small, locally owned orchards, there are many benefits, both nutritional and environmental.

The first thing to think about when looking at locally grown fruits and veggies is that there are less chemicals and preservatives. This is because when you buy and eat them directly from where they’re grown, they don’t need to be transported and no added chemicals are needed. This increases their nutritional value.

Another reason locally grown fruits and veggies are beneficial is that they lower our greenhouse gas emissions. When the food doesn’t need to be imported or driven far distances, food miles are reduced. Food miles are the distance that food has to travel from the place it was produced to where it will be sold. When the number of food miles are low, our greenhouse emissions decrease, therefore reducing our air pollution and dependence on fossil fuels.

Lastly, what better way to support your community and be closer to nature than go apple and berry picking? My yearly excursions to Kiyokawa Orchard have become a fun, simple tradition that have not only impacted me, but the environment as well. Next time you’re looking for something to do with friends or family, go to a local market or orchard and get a basket full of fresh fruits and veggies!

Kili is a sophomore at Mountainside High School. She loves singing, playing piano and ukulele, and also running track and field.