A small grocery chain uses food mileage as an advertising tactic
Roth’s, a tiny (11 store) grocery chain in Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley, is promoting a “Go Local” campaign that’s interesting in many respects, including its “Support our Northwest food system” slogan and ads:
- “Go Local” products are grown, caught, or produced in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, or Northern California.
- Look for the “Go Local” icon on products in your weekly Roth’s ad. Buying these products will help build a regional food economy, ensuring farms in our community [sic] and protecting our food security for years to come.
- Where does your food come from? If it’s a “Go Local” product from Roth’s, then it comes from right here in the Northwest. If you think about the average distance food has to travel from farm to plate (around 1,500 miles), and think about how it got there (fossil fuels), you might be left wondering about the negative impact it will have on the environment. “Go Local” products are produced locally which in turn helps the environment and helps to support our local food system.
Perhaps even more interesting is that it gives the number of miles the featured foods traveled to reach the Roth’s stores in Salem. A few items of note:
Flav R Pac frozen vegetables and Kettle Chips — no mileage given as they are made “Right here in Salem”
Mallorie’s Milk — 16 miles (also notes NO rBST)
Umpqua ice cream — 134 miles
Elephant garlic — 20 miles
Spinach — 91 miles
Hermiston onions — 236 miles