Some 80 percent of U.S. fruits and vegetables are grown on large farms and trucked hundreds of miles to their final destination. To track a crop's travels, two National Geographic reporters followed a truck filled with strawberries from a central California field to a store near the magazine's headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Their conclusion? Knowing exactly how a strawberry gets to market isn't so intriguing at 3 a.m. on the highway. By design, this transport is orchestrated so that consumers never have to think about a fruit's journey—until it arrives at the store, and they can inspect for bruises. —Dan Stone