This question came up yesterday when we posted pictures of cilantro grown in California labeled as “local” at a Kroger store in Ohio. We assumed that this was an error, and an anonymous Kroger employee confirmed that for us. We had to wonder, though: what does Kroger consider “local” enough to put that sign on?
We wrote to Kroger to ask about the signage, but also asked about their definition of “local” when it comes to fresh produce. “Local product is within 400 miles of the area, although we do get a lot of items much closer,” a Kroger spokesperson answered us. That seems pretty far to be calling things “local,” but it’s not a completely unreasonable limit, either, especially in some expanses of the Midwest. It’s comforting to know that California isn’t considered local to Ohio.