Carbon Footprint: Local vs. Vegan

(Via Organic Consumers Association) A new study published in Environmental Science & Technology discusses the contribution that food makes to global warming:

Van Wing, who coined the term locavore with a friend 3 years ago, says curbing global warming is one of many social and environmental reasons for eating locally. And for many people, “food miles”, the distance food travels from farm to plate, are a simple way to gauge food’s impact on climate change.

But it’s how food is produced, not how far it is transported, that matters most for global warming, according to new research published in ES&T . In fact, eating less red meat and dairy can be a more effective way to lower an average U.S. household’s food-related climate footprint than buying local food, says lead author Christopher Weber of Carnegie Mellon University.

See Do Food Miles Matter? for more details on the study,  view the abstract, or get the pdf of the study itself (not sure how long it will remain freely available, but it was when I tried to download it).

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  1. I had written a similar post recently. My sources were different, but the sentiment’s the same. If you’re interested, here’s a link to the post:


  2. Thanks Lane – looks like the New Scientist article you linked to is also pointing back ultimately (journal reference at the end of the story) to the same study in Environmental Science & Technology.