In both of these pieces, the authors discovered that in a built environment rigged to grow food in mass quantities, process it in huge factories, and haul it over vast distances, there are cases in which industrial food that travels 1500 miles uses less energy than organic fare consumed nearby.
My response is, fair enough: but we’ve systematically dismantled the infrastructure required to make local food energy efficient, and invested billions of dollars in the industrial-food system. If we’re interested in an energy-efficient food system, let’s reinvest in local slaughterhouses, canneries, train systems, distribution points, retail outlets, etc., etc.
Now NY Times reporter Andrew Martin has come up with a think-piece trotting out the same arguments. Here’s what his piece boils down to:
Don’t drive your sport utility vehicle to the farmers’ market, buy one food item and drive home again.
Agreed. I won’t.