"Locavores" must wake up

08/23/2010 | New York Times (tiered subscription model), The

For "locavores" bent on eating locally grown foods, the focus on the transportation equation is often misleading, blogger Stephen Budiansky writes. It might take 5,000 calories of energy to produce a pound of lettuce, but the transportation component actually represents relatively little, he argues. It takes about a tablespoon of diesel fuel to move 1 pound of freight 3,000 miles by rail, the rough equivalent of about 100 calories of energy. All told, transportation amounts to about 14% of the energy expended in the U.S. food system, Budiansky adds.

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