Is Eating Local Really More Sustainable?
Researchers alexander stein and fabien. Santini just published a fascinating paper on the sustainability of local food systems in the political discussion. They write the promotion of local food. Systems and short supply. Chains is sometimes presented as a means to increase the resilience of the food system. And it's also suggested as a means to improve the environmental footprint of the food system and quote so in their paper. They've reviewed scientific literature on the environmental social and the economic aspects of sustainability and. They reached some surprising conclusions. First off is eating local actually easier on the environment. When consumers tried to eat local they often focus on how far their food has to travel from its source to their plates. You might remember a popular book called the hundred mile diet which exemplified this approach. Barbara kings hovers bestselling animal vegetable. Miracle is another example and one assumption behind this trend is that eating locally will lower the carbon footprint of our diets however this is not necessarily the case for one thing shipping large quantities foods in cargo ships or trains may actually burn less fossil fuel than transporting the same amount of food across much shorter distances in hundreds of small trucks and now just consider thousands of consumers driving two farms one by one in their cars to pick up their local food. This thinking also assumes that transporting food is the only or even the primary factor in how much carbon is emitted in the production of that food but in fact food production can produce a lot of greenhouse gases prior to this final leg of the journey in fact stein in santini conclude that the carbon footprint of diet depends a lot more on what types of foods you choose then. It doesn't how many miles they travel to reach your plate.