Arithmetic Of Food Miles Flawed
Thousands of people in the UK have bought in to the idea that eating local produce can help save the planet, but “only local is good” has come under attack, according to an article in the Guardian.
As an example, the article looks at green beans from Kenya, which carry a sticker with the image of a plane on it to indicate that carbon dioxide was emitted during import. But that doesn’t necessarily mean local produce is better, according to the article. Kenya Beans are grown using manual labor instead of tractors, they use fertilizer from cows and they have low-tech irrigation systems.
When you look at all the numbers, you discover that air-transported green beans from Kenya could actually account for the emission of less carbon dioxide than British beans.
Supermarkets, like Tesco, are catching on too and making plans to replace airplane labels that measure carbon during transportation with carbon labels that measure carbon that is emitted during a product’s manufacture and import.
On a similar topic, a study from the University of Alberta found that organic food may not be any better for the planet.
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