There’s an opinion piece in the NY Times today that argues against local food production being the most environmentally friendly way to get food to your table.
As regular readers know, this is a subject that’s dear to us here at 21st Century Citizen. We believe that supporting local agriculture has many benefits — including promoting biodiversity, giving people more of a stake in their personal food supply chain, promoting local economic growth, and getting better tasting food.
But certainly, reducing the distance your food travels should have an impact on the amount of energy required to produce, package and get it to your table? Shouldn’t it?
Well, today’s NY Times presents an argument for the opposite. Here’s a snippet:
But is reducing food miles necessarily good for the environment? Researchers at Lincoln University in New Zealand, no doubt responding to Europe’s push for “food miles labeling,” recently published a study challenging the premise that more food miles automatically mean greater fossil fuel consumption. Other scientific studies have undertaken similar investigations. According to this peer-reviewed research, compelling evidence suggests that there is more — or less — to food miles than meets the eye.
The article is worth reading completely, so I recommend you do so.
But in the end, it seems to say that localfood in and of itself is not a cure-all. It’s simply one part of what needs to be a coordinated approach to create a sustainable food supply that will support us as we move forward into the 21st Century.
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