Revisiting the “eat local” Idea

argylesock says… Here are some very interesting thoughts. It’s worth following the links, asking yourself whether you ‘eat local’ and if so what that’s really like. One thing I’d like to point out, though, is the wrong assumption that genetic modification (GM, genetic engineering) offers the only solution to flooding. No it does not, as I described recently in celebrating Scuba rice, a biotech crop which is not GM.

Thought + Food


I just came across this review of a book called “The Locavore’s Delusion”, and yes, it is a nod to that other book, in case you were wondering! The authors of the book tried to answer the question: why did we start eating a more global diet anyway? The article gives a summary of reasons that most people offer for opting to eat local: more tasty, nutritious, helps local economy etc , and the most often cited reason: it is good for the environment. This has been the subject of much discussion (some of which I wrote about here) and the point at issue is that the contribution to greenhouse gases comes more from the actual cultivation of crops rather than their transportation.

The answer the authors provide to the query, why did global food trade develop, is that it provides increased variety of foods, reduced prices and stability of…

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About argylesock

I wrote a PhD about veterinary parasitology so that's the starting point for this blog. But I'm now branching out into other areas of biology and into popular science writing. I'll write here about science that happens in landscapes, particularly farmland, and about science involving interspecific interactions. Datasets and statistics get my attention. Exactly where this blog will lead? That's a journey that I'm on and I hope you'll come with me.
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3 Responses to Revisiting the “eat local” Idea

  1. EqFe says:

    Does it really matter if more greenhouse gases come from the growth of our food than transportation, if one way to reduce the production of green house gases is to grow local produced food? Improvement is still improvement. To be honest I’d go crazy eating a diet limited to locally produced food. Crazy and broke. Unless I lived in a place like Peru which has so many different climate ones that my Avocados and Mangos would be frown a hundred miles from my Oranges, and 200 from my potatoes.

    • argylesock says:

      Both of those journeys are trivial on US-style roads, but perhaps not on Peruvian roads

      • EqFe says:

        Years ago it was all carried on foot, the Inca provided a diverse diet for their people, and even had three years worth of food stored. and of course you right about the journey, the Andes can be formidable.

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