Whether it’s mindless masses following a fashion or rise in consumer consciousness, staying local does matter on the grand scale. This morning I read an interesting, inspiring (and, for any permaculturalists, not altogether ground-breaking) article about “Replanting America”. According to a study from The University of California, Merced, it would be possible to locally produce 90% of the nation’s nutritional needs for a well-balanced diet, using only the existing farmland in America. It would just mean using that land to grow something besides corn, soy and other cash crops and growing food instead.
While I’ve seen lots and lots of these kinds of studies and claims over the years, the part of this one that struck me was that apparently scientists from earth and environmental disciplines aren’t that stoked on local food because it doesn’t actually make such a big difference in the scheme of emissions. The claim follows that transportation makes up only about a tenth of the total emissions from food production, with farms accounting for the rest. I know current farm practices are horrible, but I’m not sure such ideas are addressing the big picture.
SO, THEN, WHY DOES BUYING LOCAL MATTER?
…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…