Yesterday, NPR's Here & Now program hosted author James McWilliams, to talk about "locavores" (it's the 2007 Word of the Year, after all) and some of the ins and outs of food miles vs. life cycle as a way to measure the impact of your eating choices. The gist: sometimes, it takes more energy to grow and harvest local food than it does to grow it far away and have it shipped in, e.g. if you're trying to reduce your carbon footprint, local food isn't always the best choice.
Though this isn't the first time we've discussed this idea, the whole segment is worth a listen. If you're looking for one takeaway, it should probably be this: there is no silver bullet, no one right way to consume food, all the time. Food miles, seasonality and energy inputs (was that chicken raised on grass pasture or fed engineered slop in a cage?) are all important considerations when sourcing your food; eating green is not about putting the blinders on to "eat local" at all costs, or "eat organic," or any other eating buzzword. Eating green is a lifestyle, a mindful way to approach how you fuel yourself without requiring too much fuel from the planet. ::Here & Now