L.A. Eats: The Battle for Los Angeles

Harvard University Extension School

L.A. Eats: The Battle for Los Angeles

ENVR-102

Department of Environmental Management

BY

Chris Oestereich

 

St. Louis, MO

April, 2011

Image by: hitthatswitch

L.A Eats – The Battle for Los Angeles

Abstract

In reflecting on the causes of rising levels of Greenhouse Gases (GHGs), we instinctively focus on direct sources of pollution.  Power plants, vehicles and factories are images which typically come to mind.  What we tend to overlook is the need fulfilled by these sources and the opportunities to modify the ways in which the needs are met.  We don’t need power plants; we need electricity to power our homes and devices.  We don’t need cars; we need safe and efficient methods of transport.  We don’t need factories; we need products which provide utility.  It is in this line of thinking which this paper intends to examine the current food systems of Los Angeles County, and to suggest a model which would reduce GHGs within the region and far beyond it.

Combined with deforestation, agriculture has recently been blamed for “36% of all anthropogenic emissions.” (DeFries and Rosenzweig 2010)  Alternately, the World Resources Institute attributes 15.2% of all agriculture related GHGs, not including transportation, to agriculture. (Appendix A) Given its incredible impact, the global food system’s products and practices appear ripe for scrutiny.

Upon initiating research for this paper, my working hypothesis was that food miles were the cause of, and locavores the solution to, food-related GHGs.  As often happens, research shined a light on unexpected data.  Distance alone turned out to be far less important than method of transport.  Additionally, food waste (Relaxnews 2011) and methods of production entered the picture as major contributors.  Overconsumption and dietary choices further muddied the waters.  As I waded through the available literature, the picture of a re-imagined food system began to emerge which centered on three guiding principles: properly aligned incentives, informed choices and overall efficiency.  This paper attempts to detail the key factors contributing to GHGs in today’s food systems while hazarding a path forward.

Image by: Lenny Montana

Introduction

The U.S. food system uses over 10 quadrillion Btu (10,551 quadrillion Joules) of energy each year,” (Murray 2005) which is roughly ten percent of the energy produced in the United States. (Appendix B)  In the year 2009, the U.S. “agriculture sector produced “6.3 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.” (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 2011) Los Angeles is the largest county in the United States with close to 9.9 million residents, more than 3% of the country’s total population. (U.S. Census 2011)  The city is also one of the world’s entertainment hubs.  The city is also home to some poorest air in the United States, receiving F grades from the American Lung Association for Ozone and Particle Pollution. (American Lung Association 2011)  The blend of size, industry expertise, and overwhelming need for action uniquely positions Angelinos to lead us into a low carbon future.  Positive changes made there could be held up as a model throughout the world.  This paper offers a new model for the production, transport and consumption of food which could be part of an idyllic future.  To accomplish this, it analyzes the impacts of food waste and over consumption, as well as the potential benefits of both increased local production and improved food mile efficiency.

In researching this paper, my initial focus centered on two fairly recent terms, “food miles” (Alter 2007) which refers to the distance traveled from field to fork, and “locavore” (Sustainable Table 2009) which refers to individuals who endeavor to consume locally produced food.  My working assumption was that food miles were the problem and locavorism the obvious solution.  I soon found the problem to be broader and more complicated than originally anticipated.  The impact of food miles on the GHGs produced is largely dependent on mode of transportation and method of production can have a greater impact than food miles. (Engelhaupt 2008)  Minimizing food waste (Relaxnews 2011) and changing dietary choices are also part of the potential solution.

Image by: clayirving

Methodology

This section attempts to explain how analysis for this paper was performed.  For this study, I attempted to look at food systems from a holistic, systems thinking perspective.  Imagine Los Angeles County as a bath tub with multiple faucets pouring food into the region while releasing GHGs into the atmosphere.  Each of those faucets represents a different food source such as private and community gardens, farmers markets, community-supported agriculture (Little, Maye and Ilbery 2010), restaurants, grocery stores, superstores, food trucks and convenience stores.  At the bottom of the tub there are two drains; one which all the consumed food flows out through, the other representing food waste.  The food waste drain represents a complete misuse of resources and the consumption drain is far from ideal due to overconsumption and poor nutritional choices.   The consumption drain contributes to a host of health related issues which will not be discussed in this paper, but the recommendations it promotes would help alleviate many of those issues.  In looking at food systems from this perspective, we can analyze the various sources of greenhouse gases.  From this analysis, we find opportunities for GHG reduction, as well as topics for further study.

Findings

Image by: oceandesetoiles

Food Waste

A recent study by the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) & the World Wildlife Federation (WWF) “identified that UK households dispose of 8.3 million tonnes of food and drink waste every year, most of which could have been eaten, accounting for 3% of all UK GHGs. (Chapagain and James 2011)  Armed with this knowledge, I decided to start off my analysis by looking at the bottom of the aforementioned bathtub.

Accounting for L.A.’s food waste started with a look at the landfill emissions.  Fortunately, the Environmental Protection Agency EPA) produces estimates of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) produced in the U.S. (EPA 2011)  The total landfilled MSW was estimated to be 243 million Tons in 2009.  Of this, food waste accounted for 14.1% of the total (Appendix C), which equates to over 34 million Tons.  The total U.S. population in 2009 was over 305.5 million. (U.S. News Staff 2008)  L.A. County’s population was approximately 3.2% of the nation’s at that time.  Back of the envelope calculations suggest the county was responsible for 1.1 million Tons of food waste in 2009.  One paper suggests that a conservative estimate of the methane produced by one ton of food waste is 50 Nm3 (Normal meters cubed). (Themelis and Ulloa 2005) This gives us a conservative landfill food waste related CH4 production estimate of 55 million Nm3.  Since methane is twenty-one times as effective as carbon in trapping atmospheric heat, the aforementioned quantity equates to 1,155,000,000 Nm3 CDE. The total land area of Los Angeles County is just 4,067.87 sq. mi, so it is easy to see why the food waste generated by the city’s residents has a sizeable impact.

Image by; Stephanie Booth

Consumption Choices

Current consumption choices are a major contributor to GHGs.  The livestock sector alone is “responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions.” (Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN 2006)  From 1967 to 2007 the U.S. population grew from 204 million to 308 million equating to a little more than a 50% increase.  Average consumption increased from 2983 kcal/day to 3748 kcal/day for over a 25% increase during the same period. (Appendix D) In fact, “the U.S. is the leading producer of cow’s milk, beef, chicken and poultry and second for pork, eggs and game meat worldwide.” (FAO Statistics Division 2011 n.d.) In 1967 total kcal/day produced was around 608 billion/day, but this number had increased to 1.157 trillion in 2007.  Therefore, over the last forty years overall food production has nearly doubled.  Increased production has contributed to a host of health-related issues, such as obesity and diabetes, while also contributing to the growing GHG problem.  A report from the Center for Disease Control reports that “the average weight for men aged 20-74 years rose dramatically from 166.3 pounds in 1960 to 191 pounds in 2002, while the average weight for women the same age increased from 140.2 pounds in 1960 to 164.3 pounds in 2002.” (Cynthia L. Ogden, et al. 2004)

The consumption problem is complicated by the fact that global population is projected by the U.S. Census Office to reach 9.5 billion by the year 2050.  (Capper, Cady and Bauman 2009)  Consumption patterns in developing countries are expected to trend towards that of the industrialized world driving total food requirements to double again in that time span. (Bauman and Capper n.d.)

Image by: mrmole

Locavorism & Food Miles Yield

Locavores endeavor to root out all of the transport related emissions from their food systems.  Such choices are predicated on the idea that all food needs will be locally available.  This may work well in tropical or sub-tropical regions where growing seasons have few constraints, but consumption patterns outside of these areas would require drastic changes to meet this ideal.

A study by the National Resource Defense Council (NRDC) shows a wide variance in the level of MTCDE produced by the typical modes of transportation. (Appendix E) The table below displays the differing amounts of CO2 produced by the four main shipping methods (Heavy Truck, Rail, Ocean Tanker & Air Cargo) for a shipment of 2,810 miles, the distance between New York City and Los Angeles.

g CO2 / ton-mi

g CO2

MT CO2

Ocean Tanker

6

16,860

.017

Rail

35

98,350

.098

Heavy Truck

65.5

184,055

.184

Air Cargo

1369

3,846,890

3.847

Food generally travels long distances, “1640 km delivery and 6760 km life-cycle supply chain on average,” but 83% of the average U.S. household’s food related emissions come from production.  (Weber and Matthews 2008)  “Transportation as a whole represents only 11% of life-cycle GHG emissions, and final delivery from producer to retail contributes only 4%.” (Weber and Matthews 2008)  Additionally, vehicle age and fuel type (Appendix F) account for markedly different amounts of GHGs produced.  Heavy trucks from the 1980s emit roughly ten times the amount of GHGs emitted by trucks built in 2005, while cars and light trucks realized an 80% reduction in emissions during similar timeframes.

Recommendations

Food Waste

Current agricultural subsidies encourage wasteful production.  Appendix G shows a graph which has been frequently cited by food and environment bloggers over the past couple of years.  The chart displays the difference between the dietary recommendations of the now defunct food pyramid and the portion of government spend going to food subsidies.  Current subsidies create misaligned incentives which lead to overproduction and low prices, for products which we have little need for.  Lack of incentives for needed products, primarily vegetables, creates a disincentive for their production and, in turn, their consumption.  This leads to high prices for consumers with constrained finances.  Pushing for subsidy reforms would help reduce GHGs while affording conditions that would foster improved health.  Improved health leads to reduced need for healthcare and lowers the related costs.  Additionally, educating consumers around the environmental impacts of food waste will afford them the opportunity to make informed choices, rather than obliviously damaging themselves and the environment.

Consumption Choices

One source of hope for a technological solution comes from US dairy farmers.  “In 1944, the US dairy population totaled 25.6 million cows producing a total of 53.0 billion kg of milk annually,” but by 2007 the US dairy herd had dropped to 9.2 million cows, while annual milk production rose to 84.2 billion kg.” (Capper, Cady and Bauman, The environmental impact of dairy production: 1944 compared with 2007 2009)  Scientific advances, and operational efficiencies, which truly enable us to get more from less, will be one of the keys to a more sustainable future.

Another possibility exists in moving consumption downstream within food chains, as, “different food groups exhibit a large range in GHG-intensity; on average, red meat is around 150% more GHG intensive than chicken or fish.” (Weber and Matthews 2008)  Therefore, it is possible to make a greater reduction to a household’s GHG footprint by, “shifting less than one day per week’s worth of calories from red meat and dairy products to chicken, fish, eggs, or a vegetable-based diet achieves more GHG reduction than buying all locally sourced food.” (Weber and Matthews 2008)  These types of dietary changes also offer potential health benefits as animals which are higher in the food chain tend to aggregate toxins, like mercury, from their prey as in some large salt water fish.  Larger fish are also more susceptible to overfishing.  So, choosing instead to go with something like a tilapia from a local farm, rather than a specimen from the declining Orange Roughy population, would be beneficial on multiple levels. (NRDC n.d.)

The key to driving improved consumption choices is education and a connection to our food sources.  In many cases, city residents are lacking on both counts.  Local government can provide opportunities to fill both of these voids.  Many grade schools combine nutrition education with gardening opportunities.  This multi-phased approach creates a lasting impact with students, offering a potential lifetime of benefits.  Los Angeles should follow this lead and pair it with increased opportunities for adult education.  Finally, the city would benefit from providing land and funding for community gardens.  These spaces offer neighbors the chance to build ties while providing mutual benefits.  They also reduce emissions while providing inexpensive produce.

Locavorism & Food Miles Yield

Foods Frequently Imported by Air (NRDC 2007) Country of Origin
Asparagus Peru
Bell Peppers Netherlands
Blackberries Chile
Blueberries Chile
Cherries New Zealand
Raspberries Argentina

Food miles, the original focus of this study, are at the center of a highly contentious debate.  On one side, the locavores believe that all food should be locally produced and sourced, citing food miles as the bane of the environment.  Opposing this stance is the large-scale agriculture industry which claims that transport accounts for only a small fraction of the GHGs produced by the overall industrial food system.  Who’s right? Both make valid points but the answer is more complicated than either side’s story.

The varying levels of CO2, created by differing methods of transport, show the need for judicious distribution systems.  For every mile that is shifted from truck to rail, the corresponding CO2 emissions are cut nearly in half.   The table at right lists foods frequently imported by air to California.  All of these products are produced in California at least seasonally.  Asparagus is the perfect example of the opportunity to bring sustainable consumption choices to our dinner tables.  The asparagus growing season runs from January to November in California. (Appendix H) Can we not learn to live without asparagus for one month out of the year?   If not, we’ll continue to burden the atmosphere with 5.73 MTCDE for every ton of asparagus flown from Lima to L.A.  Can a reasonable argument be made for the continuance of this practice?  Are there Angelinos who, bereft of tender spears for a period of four weeks, would lose the desire to carry on?  I think not!

Worse yet is the air freight bill received by the atmosphere for the benefit of cherry lovers.  For every ton of cherries flown from Wellington, New Zealand to Los Angeles, California, a condensation trail laced with 9.17 MT of CO2 is released into the air.  Cherries can be grown in California from April through July.  Should they ever be flown the 6,701 miles between these cities?  The state of Washington can offer cherries through August, so Angelinos could extend the season an extra month by trucking these delectable fruits down the Pacific Coast Highway at a smaller environmental impact than those from New Zealand.  Having fresh cherries available four or five months out of the year is one of the systemic constraints we have to learn to live with.  Living outside of these constraints is akin to living beyond one’s financial means.  It may work out for a while, but eventually the bills come due.

Need another example?  How about oranges?  California produces 98% of the oranges consumed within the state, but the rest come all the way from Australia.  This must mean that the state’s production comes up just short of its demand, right?  In fact, California exports a volume that is sixteen times as much as it imports. (NRDC 2007) “The transportation related pollution from importing Australian navel oranges includes 44 times more particulate matter and 6 times more global warming impact than transporting oranges grown in California. “ (NRDC 2007) Years from now our ancestors will look back and ask, “Why did they do that?”

The purpose of this paper is to suggest opportunities to consider the impacts of our food-related production and consumption choices.  The old saying “absence makes the heart grow fonder” seems appropriate here.  Can we not learn to enjoy things as nature affords them to us, and in doing so heighten our enjoyment?  I’d rather that than continue to succumb to the drive for instant gratification which has consumed so many of us for so long.  With the recent proliferation of smart phones has come a wave of sustainability related applications.  Consumers can scan a bar code with their phone and receive instant feedback on the product in the form of product safety as well as its environmental impact.  Future offerings will undoubtedly incorporate mode of transportation and distance traveled to afford us the opportunity to make informed choices, at the point of sale, which better fit our values.

The carbon sequestration potential of urban green spaces is well documented, but studies have tended to focus on trees and lawns, rather than vegetable gardens.  Fortunately, there are studies which offer some guidance.   One potential limiting factor would be the amount of fixed nitrogen in the soil. (Gill, et al. 2006) Legumes are natural nitrogen-fixers and therefore could be used to counteract this problem.  Future studies could seek an optimal mix of nitrogen-fixing and other plants for the purpose of maximal carbon sequestration.

Financial incentives can be powerful motivators for desired behaviors.  Modifying L.A.’s waste hauling system and its incentives could greatly reduce the GHGs produced by the city’s residents.  I recommend moving to a pay as you throw system which allows residences to dispose of a small but reasonable amount of waste each week at a standard fee.  The waste should be weighed at the curb and a fee escalator should kick in if the weight exceeds the weekly allowance.  No limit should be set on recycling pickups.  Additionally, I would recommend that the city offer highly subsidized composters for its residents.  This could substantially reduce the organic waste entering the city’s landfills, while providing a valuable input to the region’s gardens.  Alternately, the city could incent residents to separate organic waste for pickup and produce compost at centralized locations.  This could then be delivered for use throughout the city.  The key to composting is education.  When people come to understand they are throwing away a valuable resource, behavioral change becomes easier.  This is another area where the city’s media resources can make an impact.  Activist movie stars could help educate and motivate residents via well crafted public service announcements.

Growing your own vegetables is one opportunity to reduce the frequency of trips to markets.  Those who enjoy fresh produce will find their near daily trips to the market can easily be cut in half when their favorite products are just steps away.  Additional ways to cut back would be for the city to offer rebates for energy saver models of deep freezes or to provide education on canning.  Either of those options would help consumers extend the benefits of growing seasons.

Another target for this study is the gross over production in developed countries.  Between the aforementioned landfilled waste, and the excess calories consumed, Americans have a great opportunity to make an absolute reduction in GHGs, or they could choose to run the system more efficiently thereby providing greater surpluses to provide as exports to the many nations suffering food shortages in recent years.

One of the more disturbing food related developments of recent years, food deserts, has become a problem for L.A., even though its “local food shed is one of the most abundant in the nation.” (Siegal 2010)  Promoting local agriculture helps reconnect people to their food sources.  This, in turn, leads to healthier eating choices, which can also lead to reduced greenhouse gas emission.  Balcony gardens, community gardens, community supported agriculture, farmers markets, and traditional grocers can all play a part in improving health, while reducing emissions.  Sadly, in the current state of food deserts there exists a higher prevalence of fast food restaurants and convenience stores than of healthier food outlets.  This leads to a pattern of consumption of high fat, high sodium, high calorie fast foods and equally unhealthy packaged foods.  Reversing this trend will bring a host of benefits to the region as, “The doubling of obesity between 1987 and today accounts for 20 to 30 percent of the rise in health care spending.” (Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease n.d.)  Would it not be better to spend these dollars on preventative measures such as incentivizing positive behaviors and educating consumers?  Los Angeles needs to find ways to deliver high quality, fresh foods to all of its citizens.  Providing incentives to entice conventional grocers to enter L.A.’s food deserts (Appendix I) is one piece of the puzzle, but they should also look to build farmers markets in these areas, as they are currently only available in surrounding communities. (Appendix J)  Farmers markets bring added value by lifting revenues at local businesses and are therefore considered “’keystones’ for rebuilding local food systems,” (Gillespie, et al. 2007) for, “making local food more visible in public spaces,” and educating, “customers on the potential for and seasonal limits of local food.” (BROWN and Miller 2008)

Image by: laRuth

Conclusion

One study offers hope for the future citing the potential to reduce energy use in the food system “about 50% by appropriate technology changes in food production, processing, packaging, transportation, and consumption.” (David Pimentel, et al. 2008) If this proves true then over 5 quads of energy could be wrung out of the current system, freeing up some of it for other uses and allowing for the reduction of use of higher polluting sources. (Appendix K)

The citizens of Los Angeles require and deserve a retooled food system which aspires to meet their needs on multiple levels.  This will require independent decisions and actions at the government, business and individual levels.  Government actors can lead the way by creating incentives for both businesses and people while also providing the infrastructure necessary for the desired changes.  With incentives aligned, business will pursue its best interests thereby delivering the goods and services needed in Los Angeles, in ways which begin to reduce the area’s Greenhouse gas emissions.  Individual consumers can then begin the arduous, but worthwhile journey towards enlightened collective-interest.  Collectively, choices will begin to improve conditions, which will create a positive feedback loop.  This feedback loop will fuel a virtuous spiral, helping alleviate many of Los Angeles’ current problems.

When the dust settles and the air clears, Los Angeles will be ready to teach the world what they’ve learned.  The media capital of the world will then kick in to overdrive.  I can already see the tagline for the documentary, “The battle for Los Angeles was not waged by land, air or sea, but in the city’s gardens, markets and kitchens.”

 

Image by: enric archivell

Appendix

  1. World Greenhouse Gas Emissions in 2006 (Agricultural emissions in purple.)
  1. Energy Mix (Energy Information Adminstration 2004)
  1. Breakdown of Total MSW Generation, 2009: 243 Million Tons (before recycling)
  1. Discretionary Calories (MyPyramid.gov 2008)
  1. NRDC – Transport CO2 Emission Factors.
  1. General Reporting Protocol – Table 13.4  Default CH4 and N2O Emission Factors for Highway Vehicles by Model Year

(GWP added and CDE extended to give better representation of the total GHG impact of the various vehicle types and years)

Vehicle Type and Year

N2O
(g/mi)

GWP

N2O CDE
(g/mi)

 

CH4 (g/mi)

GWP

CH4 CDE
(g/mi)

Total CDE (g/mi)

Gasoline Passenger Cars

1984-1993

0.0647

21

1.3587

0.0704

310

21.824

23.1827

1994

0.056

21

1.176

0.0531

310

16.461

17.637

1995

0.0473

21

0.9933

0.0358

310

11.098

12.0913

1996

0.0426

21

0.8946

0.0272

310

8.432

9.3266

1997

0.0422

21

0.8862

0.0268

310

8.308

9.1942

1998

0.0393

21

0.8253

0.0249

310

7.719

8.5443

1999

0.0337

21

0.7077

0.0216

310

6.696

7.4037

2000

0.0273

21

0.5733

0.0178

310

5.518

6.0913

2001

0.0158

21

0.3318

0.011

310

3.41

3.7418

2002

0.0153

21

0.3213

0.0107

310

3.317

3.6383

2003

0.0135

21

0.2835

0.0114

310

3.534

3.8175

2004

0.0083

21

0.1743

0.0145

310

4.495

4.6693

2005

0.0079

21

0.1659

0.0147

310

4.557

4.7229

Gasoline Light Trucks (Vans, Pickup Trucks, SUVs)

1987-1993

0.1035

21

2.1735

0.0813

310

25.203

27.3765

1994

0.0982

21

2.0622

0.0646

310

20.026

22.0882

1995

0.0908

21

1.9068

0.0517

310

16.027

17.9338

1996

0.0871

21

1.8291

0.0452

310

14.012

15.8411

1997

0.0871

21

1.8291

0.0452

310

14.012

15.8411

1998

0.0728

21

1.5288

0.0391

310

12.121

13.6498

1999

0.0564

21

1.1844

0.0321

310

9.951

11.1354

2000

0.0621

21

1.3041

0.0346

310

10.726

12.0301

2001

0.0164

21

0.3444

0.0151

310

4.681

5.0254

2002

0.0228

21

0.4788

0.0178

310

5.518

5.9968

2003

0.0114

21

0.2394

0.0155

310

4.805

5.0444

2004

0.0132

21

0.2772

0.0152

310

4.712

4.9892

2005

0.0101

21

0.2121

0.0157

310

4.867

5.0791

Gasoline Heavy-Duty Vehicles

1985-1986

0.0515

21

1.0815

0.409

310

126.79

127.8715

1987

0.0849

21

1.7829

0.3675

310

113.925

115.7079

1988-1989

0.0933

21

1.9593

0.3492

310

108.252

110.2113

1990-1995

0.1142

21

2.3982

0.3246

310

100.626

103.0242

1996

0.168

21

3.528

0.1278

310

39.618

43.146

1997

0.1726

21

3.6246

0.0924

310

28.644

32.2686

1998

0.1693

21

3.5553

0.0641

310

19.871

23.4263

1999

0.1435

21

3.0135

0.0578

310

17.918

20.9315

2000

0.1092

21

2.2932

0.0493

310

15.283

17.5762

2001

0.1235

21

2.5935

0.0528

310

16.368

18.9615

2002

0.1307

21

2.7447

0.0546

310

16.926

19.6707

2003

0.124

21

2.604

0.0533

310

16.523

19.127

2004

0.0285

21

0.5985

0.0341

310

10.571

11.1695

2005

0.0177

21

0.3717

0.0326

310

10.106

10.4777

Source: Gasoline vehicle factors from EPA Climate Leaders, Mobile Combustion Guidance (2007) based on U.S. EPA, Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2005 (2007). Diesel vehicle factors based on U.S. EPA, Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2005 (2007), Annex 3.2, Table A-98.
  1. Food Pyramid vs. Federal Subsidy Pyramid (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine 2007)
  1. Seasonal Produce Availability for Southern California (NRDC Simple Steps n.d.)

EARLY JANUARY

ApplesAsparagusAvocadosBeetsBroccoliCabbageCarrotsCauliflowerCeleryFennelGrapefruitMushroomsOkra,OnionsPearsPistachiosPotatoesRadishesRutabagaScallionsStrawberriesTurnips

LATE JANUARY

ApplesAsparagusAvocadosBeetsBroccoliCabbageCarrotsCauliflowerCeleryFennelGrapefruitMushroomsOkra,OnionsPearsPistachiosPotatoesRadishesRutabagaScallionsStrawberriesTurnips

EARLY FEBRUARY

ApplesAsparagusAvocadosBeetsBroccoliBrussels SproutsCabbageCarrotsCauliflowerCeleryFennelGrapefruit,MushroomsOkraOnionsPearsPistachiosPotatoesRadishesRutabagaScallionsStrawberriesTurnips

LATE FEBRUARY

ApplesAsparagusAvocadosBeetsBroccoliBrussels SproutsCabbageCarrotsCauliflowerCeleryFennelGrapefruit,MushroomsOkraOnionsPearsPistachiosPotatoesRadishesRutabagaScallionsStrawberriesTurnips

EARLY MARCH

ApplesAsparagusAvocadosBeetsBroccoliCabbageCarrotsCauliflowerCeleryFennelGrapefruitMushroomsOkra,OnionsPistachiosPotatoesRadishesRutabagaScallionsStrawberriesTomatoesTurnips

LATE MARCH

ApplesAsparagusAvocadosBeetsBroccoliCabbageCarrotsCauliflowerCeleryFennelGrapefruitMushroomsOkra,OnionsPistachiosPotatoesRadishesRutabagaScallionsStrawberriesTomatoesTurnips

EARLY APRIL

ApplesAsparagusAvocadosBeetsBroccoliBrussels SproutsCabbageCarrotsCauliflowerCeleryCherriesFennel,GrapefruitMushroomsNectarinesOkraOnionsPeasPistachiosPotatoesRadishesRaspberriesRhubarbRutabaga,ScallionsStrawberriesTomatoesTurnips

LATE APRIL

ApplesAsparagusAvocadosBeetsBroccoliCabbageCarrotsCauliflowerCeleryCherriesFennelGrapefruit,MushroomsNectarinesOkraOnionsPeasPistachiosPotatoesRadishesRaspberriesRhubarbRutabagaScallions,StrawberriesTomatoesTurnips

EARLY MAY

ApplesApricotsAsian PearsAsparagusAvocadosBeetsBlackberriesBroccoliCabbageCarrotsCauliflowerCelery,CherriesCucumbersEggplantFennelGrapefruitMushroomsNectarinesOkraOnionsPeachesPeasPistachios,PotatoesRadishesRaspberriesRhubarbScallionsSquashStrawberriesTomatoesTurnips

LATE MAY

ApplesApricotsAsian PearsAsparagusAvocadosBeetsBlackberriesBlueberriesBroccoliCabbageCarrots,CauliflowerCeleryCherriesCucumbersEggplantFennelGrapefruitMushroomsNectarinesOkraOnionsPeaches,PeasPistachiosPotatoesRadishesRaspberriesRhubarbScallionsSquashStrawberriesTomatoesTurnips

EARLY JUNE

ApplesApricotsAsian PearsAsparagusAvocadosBeetsBlackberriesBlueberriesBroccoliCabbageCarrots,CauliflowerCeleryCherriesCucumbersEggplantFennelGrapefruitMushroomsNectarinesOkraOnionsPeaches,PearsPeasPistachiosRadishesRaspberriesRhubarbScallionsSquashStrawberriesTomatoesTurnips

LATE JUNE

ApplesApricotsAsian PearsAsparagusAvocadosBeetsBlackberriesBlueberriesBroccoliCabbageCarrots,CauliflowerCeleryCherriesCucumbersEggplantFennelGrapefruitGrapesMushroomsNectarinesOkraOnions,PeachesPearsPeasPistachiosRadishesRaspberriesRhubarbScallionsSquashStrawberriesTomatoesTurnips

EARLY JULY

ApplesApricotsAsian PearsAsparagusAvocadosBeetsBlackberriesBlueberriesBroccoliCabbageCarrots,CauliflowerCeleryCherriesCucumbersEggplantFennelGrapefruitGrapesMushroomsNectarinesOkraOnions,PeachesPearsPeasPistachiosPotatoesRadishesRaspberriesRhubarbScallionsSquashStrawberriesTomatoes,Turnips

LATE JULY

ApplesApricotsAsian PearsAsparagusAvocadosBeetsBlackberriesBlueberriesBroccoliBrussels SproutsCabbage,CarrotsCauliflowerCeleryCherriesCucumbersEggplantFennelGrapefruitGrapesMushroomsNectarinesOkra,OnionsPeachesPearsPeasPistachiosPotatoesRadishesRaspberriesRhubarbScallionsSquashStrawberries,TomatoesTurnips

EARLY AUGUST

ApplesAsian PearsAsparagusAvocadosBeetsBroccoliBrussels SproutsCabbageCarrotsCauliflowerCelery,CucumbersEggplantFennelGrapefruitGrapesMushroomsNectarinesOkraOnionsPeachesPearsPeasPistachios,PotatoesRadishesRaspberriesRhubarbScallionsSquashStrawberriesTomatoesTurnips

LATE AUGUST

ApplesAsian PearsAsparagusAvocadosBeetsBroccoliBrussels SproutsCabbageCarrotsCauliflowerCelery,CucumbersEggplantFennelGrapefruitGrapesMushroomsNectarinesOkraOnionsPeachesPearsPeasPistachios,PotatoesRadishesRaspberriesRhubarbScallionsSquashStrawberriesTomatoesTurnips

EARLY SEPTEMBER

ApplesAsian PearsAsparagusAvocadosBeetsBroccoliBrussels SproutsCabbageCarrotsCauliflowerCelery,CucumbersEggplantFennelGrapefruitGrapesMushroomsNectarinesOkraOnionsPeachesPearsPeasPistachios,PotatoesRadishesRaspberriesRhubarbScallionsSquashStrawberriesTomatoesTurnips

LATE SEPTEMBER

ApplesAsian PearsAsparagusAvocadosBeetsBroccoliBrussels SproutsCabbageCarrotsCauliflowerCelery,CucumbersEggplantFennelGrapefruitGrapesMushroomsNectarinesOkraOnionsPeachesPearsPeasPistachios,PotatoesRadishesRaspberriesRhubarbScallionsSquashStrawberriesTomatoesTurnips

EARLY OCTOBER

ApplesAsian PearsAsparagusAvocadosBeetsBroccoliBrussels SproutsCabbageCarrotsCauliflowerCelery,CucumbersEggplantFennelGrapefruitGrapesMushroomsNectarinesOkraOnionsPeachesPearsPeasPistachios,PotatoesRadishesRaspberriesRhubarbRutabagaScallionsSquashStrawberriesTomatoesTurnips

LATE OCTOBER

ApplesAsian PearsAsparagusAvocadosBeetsBroccoliBrussels SproutsCabbageCarrotsCauliflowerCelery,CucumbersEggplantFennelGrapefruitGrapesMushroomsNectarinesOkraOnionsPeachesPearsPeasPistachios,PotatoesRadishesRaspberriesRhubarbRutabagaScallionsSquashStrawberriesTomatoesTurnips

EARLY NOVEMBER

ApplesAsparagusAvocadosBeetsBroccoliBrussels SproutsCabbageCarrotsCauliflowerCeleryCucumbers,EggplantFennelGrapefruitGrapesMushroomsOkraOnionsPeachesPearsPeasPistachiosPotatoesRadishes,RaspberriesRhubarbRutabagaScallionsSquashTomatoesTurnips

LATE NOVEMBER

ApplesAsparagusAvocadosBeetsBroccoliBrussels SproutsCabbageCarrotsCauliflowerCeleryChristmas Trees,CucumbersEggplantFennelGrapefruitGrapesMushroomsOkraOnionsPeachesPearsPeasPistachiosPotatoes, RadishesRaspberriesRhubarbRutabagaScallionsSquashTomatoesTurnipsWreathes

EARLY DECEMBER

ApplesAvocadosBeetsBroccoliBrussels SproutsCabbageCarrotsCauliflowerCeleryChristmas TreesCucumbers,FennelGrapefruitGrapesMushroomsOkraOnionsPearsPistachiosPotatoesRadishesRutabagaScallionsSquash,TomatoesTurnipsWreathes

LATE DECEMBER

ApplesAvocadosBeetsBroccoliBrussels SproutsCabbageCarrotsCauliflowerCeleryChristmas TreesCucumbers,FennelGrapefruitGrapesMushroomsOkraOnionsPearsPistachiosPotatoesRadishesRutabagaScallionsSquash,TomatoesTurnipsWreathes

  1. Los Angeles Food Deserts (Shown in purple)
  1. Farmer’s Markets in Los Angeles (Red dots and pins)
  1. Life Cycle Energy Use in Supplying US Food (Heller and Keoleian 2000)

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