Friday, March 11, 2011

Michael Bomford, Beyond Food Miles

The Oil Drum: Beyond Food Miles by Michael Bomford

A locavore is “a person who endeavors to eat only locally produced food.” What better diet could there be for an energy constrained world? After all, feeding Americans accounts for about 15% of US energy use, and the average food item travels more than 5,000 miles from farm to fork. It seems obvious that eating locally will go a long way to reducing food system energy use.

Yet cracking the case of America’s energy-intensive food system demands that we look beyond the obvious. A local diet can reduce energy use somewhat, but there are even more effective ways to tackle the problem. Single-minded pursuit of local food, without consideration of the bigger picture, can actually make things worse from an energy perspective.

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