Monday, November 17, 2008

"Food Miles: A Real Issue Or a Distractor, from post
Marion Nestle's post:

November 16, 2008

The Mercatus Institute has produced a report arguing that food miles - the environmental cost of the distance food travels - is a meaningless concept based on erroneous assumptions, and that the “buy local” movement is focused on the wrong issues. I don’t know anything about the Mercatus Institute other than what is on its website, and I don’t recognize the names of its members. Anybody know anything about it? Here’s what the Wall Street Journal said about this group in 2004.

My comment, as posted:


I like the idea of keeping information about food simple and not critiquing all the factors that surround the issues of healthy food. It’s so complicated for people already!
*Michael Pollan says: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. (food = something your grandmother would recognize as being edible).
It is pretty amazing how when someone eats a varied diet that is mostly (or even fully) minimally processed Plant-Based using Local– *In Season* –vegetables and fruits when possible, it is the best thing for their bodies, AND for the environment.

If “Food Miles” is a major concern, it is because the amount of energy expended–wasted–to get the food to us, wherever we are in the world. If this is the real concern wasted resources relating to food then why not focus our attention to the biggest culprit of waste? The meat and dairy industry are a tremendous burden to the environment, especially in the United States, with the manure lagoons of factory farms that eventually seep into our water supply, the huge amounts of water wasted, the vast quantities of GMO grain needed to be planted, harvested, shipped to these industrial protein factories. And we can’t forget the petroleum based fertilizers and pesticides that are produced, transported to corn fields, often over-sprayed and also end up reeking havoc in our water, contributing to things like the Dead Zone in the Gulf Of Mexico. We need legislation to stop the governmental support, at all levels, for these factory farms.
It is great to be concerned where our food comes from to make sure it is safe, and compare the wasted energy in getting it to us if a comparable food can be made closer to home, but why is it that people are not focusing on the main environmental issue relating to food?
**Reducing your meat and dairy consumption is the most important thing the average person can do to be “green;” to lessen their impact upon the environment.
Is this because meat and dairy consumption weigh so heavily upon the Standard American Diet?
Are we ready for the truth or do we just want to dabble around with less important issues such as “Food Miles” that might be easier to deal with than taking a look at our own diets.
People used to have all kinds of misconceptions about the use of tobacco. We now know that its use is detrimental to our health. The culture changed to accept that tobacco use is a habit we can live without.
When will be ready to accept that our greatly excessive meat >>>>>and dairy consumption are concurrently putting great stresses on our bodies and on our Earth?

Comment by Daniel Ithaca, NY — November 18, 2008 @ 1:20 am


Food Miles, it is of minor concern. Eating local--when in season, organic (top 12 to buy organic based on pesticide residues: Apples, Bell Peppers, Celery, Cherries, Grapes- imported, Nectarines, Peaches, Pears, Potatoes, Red Raspberries, Spinach, Strawberries) plant-based minimally processed foods is of most importance.

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