The Carbon Footprint of Farmers' Markets

"We grow our grains, we grind our flour, we bake your bread" -what could be greener and more TreeHugger than that?

The trouble is, Tara drives that big SUV full of bread from Owen Sound, Ontario to farmers' markets in Toronto five days a week. It's 186 kilometers (115 miles) each way. She doesn't have much choice, and says "there just isn't a big enough market up there."

It is wonderful that we can get her bread. It is great that as farmers markets take off, people like Tara have more outlets where they can sell their stuff directly to their urban customers.

But 230 miles of driving puts out a lot of CO2. There has to be a better way.

UPDATE: Looking at the comments, I want to add that I am not intending to be critical or negative; I am just raising an issue that there are a lot of farmers and bakers putting on a lot of miles. What can be done to improve the situation? Can they car-pool? Can the local economies be reinforced and enriched so that she does not have to drive as far to make a living?

I have better food this year than I have ever eaten because of people like Tara. I just wish there was a way that she and others didn't have to spend four hours in the car every day.

More TreeHugger on Farmers' Markets
Farmers Markets: Great, But Still Not Perfect
Kelly's posts on Farmers Markets on Planet Green
Find Dinner Farmers ' Market : Garlic Tomato Sauce :
Find Dinner at the Farmers ' Market : More Zucchini
Grow Your Own Veggies: The Sequel : Farmers Market
Find Your Dinner at the Farmers ' Market : Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes
Take a Trip to the Farmers ' Market
Find Your Dinner at the Farmers ' Market : Grilled Vegetables
Find Your Dinner at the Farmers' Market: Pasta with Zucchini in a Lemon Thyme Cream Sauce
Find Your Dinner at the Farmers' Market: Yellow Boletus
Farmer's Market Dinner: Chanterelle Mushrooms

Tags: Carbon Footprint | Food Miles | Local Food | Toronto | Urban Life