Climate

What if all you eat travels no more than 150 miles

For many American (even in cities) this is possible and doable based on a recent science study. A quick summary, quote: “How local could food be in the U.S.? A modeling study estimates the distance within which metro centers could meet food needs if they tried to feed themselves locally. Some — but not all — could rely on nearby agricultural land, and dietary changes would increase local potential, according to the study.”

I remember teaching outdoor school in Maine in the 1980s and we spent a huge amount of time talking about food logistics, environmental costs and what you waste when you throw food away. The study found that certain areas of USA would be easier, but … since when have we shied away from difficult? Quote, “This study holds even more promise of change; first, diet changes would be positive for climate and second, transportation costs (and food waste) would be materially reduced.”

Following the authors’ recommendation would positive climate in two ways; first, diet changes and second, logistical impacts (transportation and storage).

Here’s a good summary of point one, quote: “Peters and his team also modeled seven different diets to estimate whether dietary changes could make a difference in the potential to produce sufficient food for a metro area. The diets ranged from the current typical American diet, which is high in meat, to vegan. Reducing animal products in the diet increased the potential to produce all food locally, up to a point. Diets with less than half the current consumption of meat supported similar levels of localization potential, whether omnivore or vegetarian.”

The bold is mine as I realize many folks will not completely give up meat.

Logistically, “The model estimates whether 378 metropolitan areas could meet their food needs from local agricultural land located within 250 kilometers (155 miles). Local potential was estimated based on seven different diets, including the current typical American diet.”

Talk about 2 big impacts to reduce climate impact ….

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