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Buying local, organic food won’t shrink your carbon footprint—but here’s what can

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This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

If you’re paying more for local and organic groceries because you care about the environment, here’s some bad news: science shows your efforts won’t have much impact on your carbon emissions.

The good news is that scientists have done the math on dietary changes that can make a difference.

“There’s a …[perception] that organic agriculture is a lot more sustainable than conventional agriculture is, so I guess I was kind of predisposed to believe that too until I looked at the data,” said Michael Clark, a PhD student at the University of Minnesota’s department of natural resources science and management.

[Clark’s] study found that organic and conventional agriculture “did not differ significantly in their greenhouse gas emissions.”

[Seth Wynes, a PhD student in the Department of Geography at the University of British Columbia] found that while buying local can have other benefits, such as supporting local communities and knowing where your food comes from, “in terms of your emissions, it’s just not a big deal.”

On the other hand, both Wynes and Clark found that switching to a plant-based diet could make a huge difference.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Bad news: Eating local, organic won’t shrink your carbon footprint

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