Eating local is a big buzzword right now. The idea is to cut back on carbon emissions. But this report on Discovery shows that it’s not so much where your food comes from, it’s what you’re eating.
From the article:
transporting food from the farm or production site to the store contributed only 4 percent of the total greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. food supply, while producing the food accounted for 83 percent.
That’s taking into consideration more than just carbon production. Carbon dioxide isn’t the only problem we’re dealing with here, after all.
So what should you do?
Well, just what you’d expect. The article says that red meat produces about 2.5 times the amount of greenhouse gases than any chicken or pork. So the more you cut back on beef, the more impact you’re having.
Fine by me. I’m not ready to become a vegetarian, but I already prefer chicken to beef anyhow.
If you’re wondering about the groupings, here’s more from the article:
Dairy products come in second in greenhouse impact in most of the team’s analyses, since they also come from cows. Cereals and carbohydrates; chicken, fish and eggs; and fruits and vegetables were similar to each other in their contributions.
Of course, all this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t go local; there’s nothing wrong with decreasing those aspects you can control. But it brings up the very good point that there are bigger things you should be thinking about too.