Saturday, 12 March 2011

Local Food: Better, Not Best

In a recent post for the Post Carbon Institute entitled "Beyond Food Miles" Michael Bomford presents a compelling argument to put that 100 mile diet on the back-burner. Or at least on a side-plate until you think through the total energy that goes into food production.

His thesis: That a single-minded locavore can actually make things worse from an energy perspective.

His advice, which is particularly relevant for event professionals interested in catering for more sustainable food and beverage:

Choosing local food is one way to reduce food system energy use; but even more effective ways include:
  1. Choosing whole foods over processed foods;
  2. Getting a small, energy-efficient refrigerator and getting rid of extra refrigerators;
  3. Replacing animal products with grain and vegetable-based proteins;
  4. Drinking tap water instead of processed beverages;
  5. Choosing food that was grown in a region well-suited to the crop, using methods that build soil and rely primarily on sunshine for energy and rainfall for water.
Read more about why.

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