Mother Jones on Buying Local and Organic Labelling

The May/June 2006 issue of Mother Jones magazine has (as usual) some intriguing articles. There is the tale of two apples. Both Red Delicious. Originally first harvested in the US State of Iowa, they now come from Washington State. Mojo undertook some life cycle assessment on the apples and concluded "Shipping a pound of Washington apples to Iowa requires 30 times more fuel and releases 30 times more CO2 than shipping a pound of Iowa apples to a local market." See the stats here. Then they have an excerpt from the book, The Ominvore's Dilemma, in which the author meets Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm, an advocate of buy (and sell) local: 'This man was serious. He went on to explain that Polyface does not ship long distance, does not sell to supermarkets, and does not wholesale its food. All of the meat and eggs that Polyface produces is eaten within a few dozen miles or, at the most, half a day's drive of the farm—within the farm's "foodshed." ' And to complete this food ménage à troi, a story on how the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have a loophole in their definition of 'organic', as it applies to milk production, which allows for dairy feedlots to claim the much sought after moniker. Tsk tsk. ::Mother Jones.See also: Eat Local and the 100 Mile Diet.

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