Two New Perspectives: How Locavores Are Getting It Wrong


If you’re among those trying to eat locally and sustainably, you may have to rethink your strategy. Two recent editorial pieces offer new perspectives on eating green. According to a National Post article, eating global may be less harmful to the earth than eating local:

“Locally grown food, in many cases, is also more costly to produce… Accounting for ‘food miles’ — the key measure used by locavores — tells you how far food travels. It doesn’t tell you how much energy — and greenhouse gas emissions — went into growing it. When you add that in, and if your aim is to conserve fossil fuels and emissions, the best way is actually to skip the farmers’ market and eat global.”

Sound counterintuitive? Consider this tidbit from a Times op-ed:

“In many cases, fresh salmon has about twice the environmental impact as frozen salmon… For conscientious diners, when fish is flash-frozen at sea… it can be moved thousands of miles by container ship, rail or even truck at much lower environmental impact than when air freighted. If seafood-loving Japanese consumers… were to switch to 75 percent frozen salmon, it would have a greater ecological benefit than all of Europe and North America eating only locally farmed or caught salmon.”

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