Farm to fork, how to cut food bourne illness risk?

What's the trail of your food? / Jessica Fairley

In recent years, the U.S. has seen illnesses caused by foods ranging from spinach to tomatoes and now cantaloupes. According to a report from the Associated Press, the journey and length time that food takes from the farm to the fork could be the cause behind food outbreaks. For this reason, farmers say it may be wise to buy local.

"Most of the things we grow are right here on our farm. There are a few items that are not and they're basically locally grown in Georgia," said Mark's Melon Patch Manager Dean Jackson.

This process cuts out the packaging house where food is cleaned and wrapped, limiting the number of hands touching the food.

Since close to two-thirds of fruits and veggies in America are imported, health experts say shopping around for fresh foods may be a good alternative to avoid sickness.

"The freshness, the price, and the quality, there are a lot of benefits especially when you get someone that is here all the time and they can tell you exactly where all the fruit and vegetables are coming from," said Registered Dietician Tonya Early.

In addition to the health benefit, fruit stand workers say there's also a savings on the wallet. They say prices generally range lower than grocery store chains. Betty Bachman, who works at Poboy's Fruit Stand on Philema Road, says people don't mind traveling to cut costs.

"We even have folks come from out of town to come and buy from us," said Betty Bachman.