Sunday, August 22, 2010

Math Lessons For Locavores

Here is a thought provoking piece from today's Times. Having been active in the locavore movement where I live, I have experience with the issues expressed in this piece. I like the message that the writer poses and that is " let's not ignore some of the larger problems" and does a good job of putting the energy used in agriculture into perspective. What are your thoughts?


"But the local food movement now threatens to devolve into another one of those self-indulgent — and self-defeating — do-gooder dogmas. Arbitrary rules, without any real scientific basis, are repeated as gospel by “locavores,” celebrity chefs and mainstream environmental organizations. Words like “sustainability” and “food-miles” are thrown around without any clear understanding of the larger picture of energy and land use.

The result has been all kinds of absurdities. For instance, it is sinful in New York City to buy a tomato grown in a California field because of the energy spent to truck it across the country; it is virtuous to buy one grown in a lavishly heated greenhouse in, say, the Hudson Valley."


Mike

5 comments:

bazoongi kids said...

Sustainability and green-living is usually not just "common sense". This is why it's hard to inform people of the things that they need to do. You have to take a lot of things into consideration but when you get things right, the effects are astounding.

Dani said...

Good points. There are so many factors to consider when something is labeled 'green' or 'sustainable.' For example, foods grown organically in Mexico are sprayed with pesticides before entering the US to prevent the transport of alien species.

Dani @ ONNO bamboo clothing

abc said...

Good Information.By- abcenviron

GreenSteve said...

food miles often pale in comparison to whether the food is being grown in or out of season. Tomatoes from abroad can be less energy intensive than those in green houses in winter even if they are on your doorstep. Instead of 'localvores' we need 'seasonalvores'...

bamboo investments said...

great post!