Is Local Better?

I’m reading a book, called “Just Food”. The author slams the local food movement and suggests buying local may cost more, in terms of energy usage than buying from….WAL-MART!

In some ways he presents a compelling argument, that trucking in a whole bunch of food from one place uses less energy then ten people driving out to the farm. But….

What do you think?

Is Buying Local Better? Why?

5 thoughts on “Is Local Better?

  1. I think that many people do not count the energy used in the production of products on a large farm because they have no idea of how large scale farming is done compared to small scale farming. The trucking of large amounts of chemical fertilizers, the manufacturing of huge farm machines, trucking to wholesalers, who then truck to retailers, how on earth is this less of a problem then someone swinging by the farm, or the farmer’s market on the way home from somewhere else? The author must have been on Monsanto’s pay roll.

  2. One must always consider the source. I would like to know this guy’s background. In the reveiw at about the book the reveiwer found the autor’s referencing a bit sketchy, and also felt that he totally brushed aside issues such as GM contamination and the fact that large corporations may soon have a total strangle hold on our food supply forcing us to eat only what they produce. There are more people on Monsanto’s payroll then you can imagine, and they have just put a few more million into a publicity campaign to convert people to the idea that GM crops are good for us. To pay a guy a handful of thousands to write a book promoting their agenda from whatever angle is peanuts for them. The author must be either paid off or totally unaware of modern farming practices, one or the other. Wal Mart has made some large gestures in the states to buy organic produce, which I am willing to applaud even if it comes from large farms, because a large, even partially organic farm is better then a large chemical farm anyday!!!

    • My question about Wal Mart is, where are they getting the organic produce from? I don’t know the percentage, but some comes from China and I question that countries definition of organic as well as their farm labour practices.
      With the book, I am finding his argument, so far, flawed. He does not go deep enough nor does he consider both sides of the issue, which any good journalist knows you should do.
      However, he is making me consider the whole lifecycle of farm to fork! He talks about the amount of energy it takes to prepare a homecooked-from-scratch meal. I need to be more aware of cooking on the woodstove and using the crockpot, but more importantly…eating more raw!

  3. That is what makes his argument even more ridiculous. Brining food from China cannot possibly be more energy efficient! You have also brought up another good point that he seems to ignore, and that is the issue of pesticides in general. (I am just guessing here, but hear me out) The ecological footprint of food does not merely include the cost of transportation, it includes the cost to the environment and especially the soil food web when one participates in factory farming.
    On your thoughts about farm to fork…I agree that we all need to minimalize our demands on the planet.. absolutely…however, I resent shouldering the entire burden of guilt when factories continue to pump out cheaply made products that break when you try to use them, when most of our world is delivered in over-packaged disposable format, and when war is perpetuated continually (how much energy does it take to manufacture and fly a jet bomber or tank). I think this should be our main target. Oh, by the way, how much more energy does it take to cook a meal from scratch at home then one in a restaurant? and if that meal is cooked in a factory, how much energy does it take to make it in a factory, how much energy to build the factory? how much energy does it take for workers to drive to the factory? . Processed foods are just that…processed..and it takes energy to process them! He is so far out in left field he will never catch the ball!! I don’t care what his figures say, he is not presenting the entire picture, for SURE!

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