Locavore, Energy + Food

I think everyone found out buying as local as possible means driving more than usual. It reminds me of the old debate about recycling plants and if that is using more energy to recycle than to just put in the trash.

Energy plus food study

Twitter Conversation started by @onemoreryan:

@remio @unknownneva @andrewzahler Anyone calculating energy cost of driving around for 100 mi ingredients vs. walk for non-local at grocery?

Here are some factors that should be mentioned about energy.  But, outside energy, is it better to directly support the farmer who is in your community than the large farms across the USA and other countries?  Sure, many miles were driven, far more than what is needed to get non-local foods but there is energy in the transportation of all foods. The boxes needed to haul, the plastic bags at supermarkets, the huge trucks, the 24 hour truck stops for drivers, the middle loading docks to transfer items to the trucks going directly to the stores, etc.

After the adventure in buying local food, I know I am willing to pay more for the 100 mile radius food to be hauled to a central location such as the Main Market Coop or Fresh Abundance. Spending 4 hours to pick out food is fun once in awhile, but I do like the convenience of going to a store.  If more local stores would carry more 100 mile radius items, I am sure the energy costs would drop.

Local Food Local Store non Local Food
gas for carpool plastic bags, packaging, boxes
gas for farmers to get to market, if any gas for large trucks hauling
energy for docking stations between routes, think Food services of America
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2 responses to this post.

  1. […] Unknown Neva: In it, and preaching energy cost efficiency to long term 7vs7 fiend, Ryan. […]

    Reply

  2. Well, how was day one?

    Reply

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