Eating locally grown food: does it really reduce your carbon footprint?

Probably not, say Christopher L. Weber and H. Scott Matthews of Carnegie Mellon University in a piece on Kiplinger.com:

While locavores often cite “food miles”-- that is, the distance food is shipped to market -- as a reason to eat local . . . transportation accounts for only 11% of total greenhouse-gas emissions associated with food, while 83% is related to production.

I've always been skeptical about the carbon benefits of locally grown food, but I'd never seen numbers before that back up my skepticism.

Adds, Art Carden, an economist at Rhodes College, in Memphis, Tenn:

Produce grown close to home may be fresher and taste better. But food grown where conditions are most auspicious will require less fertilizer, pesticides, labor and investment in tools

Carden continues:

If you really want to reduce the carbon footprint of your diet, cut back on consumption of red meat, which Weber and Matthews say is responsible for producing 150% more greenhouse gases than chicken or fish.

From 10 Green myths debunked at Kiplinger.com.

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