There's a website called the 100 Mile Diet. The goal, obviously is to support local agriculture and avoid the waste that occurs when food has to be shipped all over the country. According to the website, When the average North American sits down to eat, each ingredient has typically travelled at least 1,500 miles.
The article linked in my title is found at kidshealth.org and talks about the recent problems with spinach and E Coli. Scientists were able to track the outbreak to "somewhere in california". Since california produces a huge percent of our food, that's not a real shocker, nor is it really much help in controlling future outbreaks. The question is asked, why is such a huge spinach crop grown in california when spinach is such an easy crop to grow in most any climate? We can grow spinach in Utah, but instead we ship it all the way from california. If crops were grown and consumed locally, any E coli outbreak would be easily contained, because we would know where the outbreak came from.
I also found in interesting in the kidshealth article that we know that raising cows in such large quantities can lead to a dangerous spread of E Coli. We also know that eating high amounts of beef leads to health problems. Obesity in children is an epidemic. Despite what we "know", we can't stand the thought of paying more for our hamburgers, or the idea of cutting back on how much we eat.
Moderation in all things is good and well, just don't mess with my triple cheeseburger. It's the American Way!