Wednesday, March 11, 2009


This article sheds new light on the notion of sustainability and food revolution. While it doesn't rule out the personal urban farmer, it does question the viability of the organic and local movement:

"Consider our love affair with food miles. In theory, locally grown foods have traveled shorter distances and thus represent less fuel use and lower carbon emissions—their resource footprint is smaller. And yet, for all the benefits of a local diet, eating locally doesn't always translate into more sustainability. Because the typical farmers market is supplied by dozens of different farms, each transporting its crops in a separate van or truck, a 20-pound shopping basket of locally grown produce might actually represent a larger carbon footprint than the same volume of produce purchased at a chain retailer, which gets its produce en masse, via large trucks."

I am left saying "now what then?"... but good work, Mother Jones.


Scott said...

I checked out the link. I think the critical word in that pull quote is "always," as in doesn't always translate into more sustainability. Some adult should have edited that to the ground and cut its head off.

Relocalization is the key and is the future for agriculture. Sustainability is not in question; but growing food by petroleum-intensive methods, including transportation, is unsustainable. Corporate agribusiness is an historical fluke, due only to cheap energy in the form of cheap petroleum. As oil continues to become scarcer and more expensive, humans will revert and realign themselves accordingly.

What then? There's going to be a lot of walking going on!
Two sick kids today...
Take care and I'll be reading.

a friend said...