“Got Cheap Milk?”

Foreign Policy discusses how eating local or eating organic may actually have the opposite effect of what proponents intend.

What about “local”? Perhaps locally grown produce tastes better to some people. And perhaps it is psychologically better to have close contact with the people who grow your food. But that doesn’t make it good for the environment. For example, it is twice as energy efficient for people in Britain to eat dairy products from New Zealand than from domestic producers. It is four times more energy efficient for them to eat lamb shipped from the other side of the world than it is to eat British lamb. That’s because transporting the final product accounts for only a small part of the energy consumed in the production and delivery of food. It’s far better to eat foods from places where production itself is more efficient. For example, New Zealand cattle eat clover from the fields while British livestock tend to rely on feed — which itself is often imported.

You’ll have to judge the accuracy of this article yourself; this is certainly not my area of expertise (it’s not Disgaea, is what I’m saying).

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