Friday, December 08, 2006

Friday Food Politics: Food Miles Is A Crock Edition

A very interesting discussion on eGullet titled "Food Miles is a Crock".

Key quote: "Assume that the typical surburban family drives a 25 Miles Per Gallon vehicle, lives 2.5 miles from their nearest supermarket and buys 20 pounds of groceries in the average shopping trip...You could move that 20 pounds of groceries exactly halfway around the world by ship for the same amount of fuel as it takes for you to go to the store and back."

The conclusion: "Now, does this on the face of it means that eating locally is crap? Of course not, all of the previous reasons to do with freshness, seasonality and supporting local farmers are still valid."

I made a similar argument, that advocacy to "eat local" is primarily aesthetic rather than environmental, in this post.

(Hat-tip to Megnut.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Not to mention, that family is going to drive to the supermarket whether they're buying local, national or international food. So if the food is being shipped half way around the world you have to add those food miles onto the family trip to the grocery store. Interesting article though.

I've also heard interesting arguments about the fuel needed to maintin green houses in northern climates vs shipping food from southern climates -I live in MI so that's a real concern for me.