School district serving more California-grown food

The Oakland Unified School District is one of many districts that benefits from a 12-month growing season.

OAKLAND, Calif.—The whole thing started with a simple question: How far does our food travel?

For Earth Day a few years ago, a group of fifth grade students at Cleveland Elementary School in Oakland took it upon themselves to find out. They followed the path that the asparagus in the cafeteria took to get there, finding it was grown in South America and processed in China before ultimately making its way into their school's kitchen. The total length of the journey? 17,000 miles. That's especially troubling when asparagus is grown less than 200 miles from the school.

It was a problem, and needed a solution.