By Julie Lawrence Special to Published Nov 11, 2008 at 12:46 PM

One of the biggest issues concerning the green movement is the source of food. We've all heard the staggering stats; that in the U.S., our food travels an average of 1,500 miles via various modes of gas-guzzling transportation before it reaches our plates. The lesson to take away from this? Eat locally, as much as is possible.

Although it might seem complicated, eating locally is actually fairly simple, at least in the warm months. There are multiple farmers' markets every weekend from Memorial Day to Labor Day -- some go into October -- as well as several Community Supported Agriculture farms that provide its members with fresh, organic produce from southeastern Wisconsin.

But now that it's November, even the late season harvest is starting to dwindle and what are we left with? The grocery store. But here's the good news: On a recent trip to the Metro Market, 1123 N. Van Buren St., while making my usual round through the produce department, I noticed something written next to the little laminated sign that tells you the product's name and PLU number.

"Why does it say USA next to the jalapenos?" I wondered. Then I saw Mexico and other countries listed on various signs and realized the store was telling me where their food was coming from. Brilliant. So, while Metro Market certainly can't get all its goods from this region, they can at least tell us which ones they can, allowing the consumer to make more informed shopping decisions.

Kudos, Metro Market. Now please start carrying vegetable stock from Better than Bullion. The ham stock is taking over.

Julie Lawrence Special to staff writer Julie Lawrence grew up in Wauwatosa and has lived her whole life in the Milwaukee area.

As any “word nerd” can attest, you never know when inspiration will strike, so from a very early age Julie has rarely been seen sans pen and little notebook. At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee it seemed only natural that she major in journalism. When offered her an avenue to combine her writing and the city she knows and loves in late 2004, she knew it was meant to be. Around the office, she answers to a plethora of nicknames, including “Lar,” (short for “Larry,” which is short for “Lawrence”) as well as the mysteriously-sourced “Bill Murray.”