Is local food better? by Sarah DeWeerdt

Sarah DeWeerdt writes ‘Is local food better?’ in the Worldwatch Institute magazine. The answer is a qualified yes, but it’s mainly because local food allows better contact between producer and consumer, and not the greenhouse gases from food miles.

Quoted in the piece, Clare Hinrichs has written, “it is the social relation, not the spatial location, per se, that accounts for this outcome.”

Tara Garnett of the Food Climate Research Network has calculated that 83% of emissions occur before food leaves the farm. Food miles is 4%; transport in total is 10%; agricultural production is 50%.

“Broadly speaking, eating fewer meat and dairy products and consuming more plant foods in their place is probably the single most helpful behavioral shift one can make” to reduce food-related greenhouse gas emissions, Garnett argues. Organic also gets a good word.

The point, therefore, for the Shandon Local Food Group is how to get people to move their food habits to organic and mostly veggie food. And how to buy organic and keep the cost down; and how to introduce veggie food into the diet.

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