Last week, James E. McWilliams did an op-ed in the New York Times title “Food That Travels Well” that got me thinking. For a long time sustainability activists have joined forces with the local food/slow food activists in what has seemed like a mutually beneficial partnership. Now it turns out, according to the article, that not all locally produced food enjoys a smaller carbon footprint than food which travels farther from the producer to your plate.
This doesn’t mean that local food/slow food isn’t preferable from a cultural or nutritional standpoint or even from a local economic multiplier standpoint. It does mean that before making the argument that locally-produced food is better for the environment you are going to have to consider the production methods used.
Go read the article and let me know what you think about this contrarian (from an environmentalist viewpoint) argument.