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The 10,000 Mile Diet

Publishers Weekly recommends The Locavore’s Dilemma: In Praise of the 10,000 Mile Diet, co-authored by former PERC fellows Pierre Desrochers and Hiroko Shimizu, as a book to watch for in 2012.

Check out Shimizu’s piece in  PERC Reports where she outlines three myths about eating local.

  • Myth 1: Eating locally produced food reduces our environmental impact.
  • Myth 2: Local food is inherently safer.
  • Myth 3: Local food promotes economic growth and social justice.

“In short, the best way to reduce the carbon footprint of agricultural production is to produce food where it can be done most efficiently and to engage in international trade. Selecting food based on its affordability, availability, and quality is a better way to help the planet than focusing on food miles.”

Comments

  1. EDG reppin' LBC says:

    “Encouraging the purchase of uncompetitive local products benefits some farmers in advanced economies at the expense of agricultural producers in less developed countries whose economic development depends on their capacity to export agricultural products.”

    Interesting article, but I think each consumer should purchase products based on the single criteria of how it benefits the consumer. If that means buying local, buy local. If it means the consumer buy cheaper imports, but cheaper imports.

    Obviously paying more for locally sourced food may not be considered “rational” consumer behavior. So what? We are humans and the economic notion of the rational consumer is not infallible. As well, I think it is irrational to expect consumers to purchase goods based on an obligation to benefit producers in poor, less developed countries. It certainly is an interesting topic, but in the end we should all mind our own business and let consumers buy what they want based on their own internal motivations.