Viewpoint: ‘Eat local’ builds community spirit, but it won’t stop climate change

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Dissatisfied with the United States’ wasteful and planet-degrading food system, San Franciscan food activists Jessica Prentice and Sage Van Wing …. challenged everyone they knew [in 2005] to eat nothing but locally grown food for a month ….

Ever since, “eat local” has become a widely-accepted mantra for people seeking to reduce their carbon footprint. It’s even recommended by large institutional bodies, including the United Nations.

A recent set of analyses led by Hannah Ritchie, a data scientist from Oxford University, concludes that eating local can be misguided advice. “Many have the misconception that eating locally-produced food is one of the most effective ways to cut their carbon footprint,” writes Ritchie in an email. “But most of us underestimate the emissions involved in the production stage of food.”

Related article:  Probiotics may help humans stay healthy. Could they benefit other animals, too?

…. [K]nowing which products and food systems are most environmentally friendly is key, explains Ritchie.

environmental impact of food by life cycle stage

View larger image.

Her analyses are based on the most comprehensive meta-analysis of global food production to date, collecting data from 38,700 commercially viable farms in 119 countries. Her central finding is that, on average, transportation of food accounts for less than 10% of carbon emissions in the global food supply.

Read the original post

Outbreak Featured
Infographic: Autoimmune diseases — 76 identified so far — tend to target women over men. Here is a master list

Infographic: Autoimmune diseases — 76 identified so far — tend to target women over men. Here is a master list

There are many autoimmune diseases, and taken together they affect as much as 4.5 percent of the world’s population. This ...
Are GMOs and pesticides threatening bees?

Are GMOs and pesticides threatening bees?

First introduced in 1995, neonicotinoids ...
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

* indicates required
Email Lists
glp menu logo outlined

Get news on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.