It’s the meat not the miles | Science News

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It’s the meat not the miles

Diet substance has a greater impact than diet origin on greenhouse gas emissions

By
1:44pm, May 1, 2008

Buying local certainly reduces the miles food goes before we eat. But consumers aiming to shrink their ecological footprint will get more bang for their environmental buck by eating less red meat and dairy, reports a new study. The analysis finds that transporting food to the consumer accounts for only 4 percent of food-associated greenhouse gas emissions, while production contributes a hefty 83 percent.

“There are many good reasons for going local,” comments Rich Pirog, associate director of the LeopoldCenter for Sustainable Agriculture at IowaStateUniversity in Ames. “But this study is important. Food miles alone are not a reliable indicator of
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