Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Carbon Cost From Farm to Fork

In the March 17, 2008 issue of Newsweek, there is an article titled "The carbon cost from farm to fork."  Here are some interesting things from the article:

"It's the golden rule of the local-food movement: the fewer miles that food travels, the better for the environment.  The only problem is, it may not be true. 'Very few studies support the idea that local-food systems are greener,'... "When it comes to calculating the carbon cost of a certain dish, the method of transport matters as much as the distance from farm to fork.  Sea-freight emissions are less than half of those associated with airplanes, trains are cleaner than trucks and a tractor-trailer can be a green machine compared with an old pickup.  If you live east of Columbus, Ohio, it's actually greener to drink French Bordeaux than wine from California, which is trucked over the Rockies..."  "How food is grown and harvested is also key ... New York state apples, for instance, can be less ecofriendly than those imported from New Zealand, where, among other things, growing conditions produce greater yields with less energy.  We need a complete picture of carbon emissions ... not just a mile marker."

This reminds me of the question from the exam about needing to use the efficiency of the whole system.  I wonder if one day the carbon emissions will be included on food like the nutritional information.

1 comment:

Jrod said...

This brings an new perspective to this debate for me...thanks for finding this article.