Local Food is Bad for the Environment
July 9, 2010 3 Comments
Local food, because it’s grown on a smaller scale, is produced and shipped less efficiently. The little tractor, pickup truck, et cetera, end up consuming more fossil fuels per pound of food than ones produced by huge combines and shipped in 18 wheelers.
I know, from a simplistic Green perspective, inductively reasoned perspective, “big is bad”, but the reality is different.
For example, an ancient, coal-powered steam engine passenger train, belching out black smoke, pollutes less than the number of automobiles its passengers would have otherwise needed…and likewise, big combines and cargo ships/barges pollute less — per food item harvested — than tractors and pickup trucks.
Likewise, smaller farmers tend to use pesticides and fertilizers less efficiently, for the same reasons. They also waste more water per pound of food irrigating.
Now if I actually buy, say, tomatoes, it’s only the ones that actually taste good, which are usually from some stand and often are locally grown. I’m not worried about it either way…but I don’t have any delusions of helping the environment, I just prefer that my tomatoes not taste like mealy goop.