We have a bonus episode from our friends at Climavores, a podcast about eating on a changing planet. Each week, journalists Tamar Haspel and Mike Grunwald explore the complicated, confusing, and surprising relationship between food and the environment. In this episode, they discuss “buying local.”
Buying local makes us feel good, but does it really help the planet?
The eat local movement is huge. Bumper stickers in liberal towns across the U.S. tell us to “Eat local” or ask “Who’s your farmer?” But eating local food may be wildly overrated when it comes to climate change.
When we look at how foods are produced, transportation accounts for less than 10% of carbon emissions. So should we abandon farmers’ markets for big grocery store chains?
In this episode, Mike and Tamar break down the real carbon footprint of local food and ask whether the value of supporting local, small-scale farmers outweighs the climate benefit of not buying local (spoiler alert: Tamar says yes. Mike says no). They also dive into the history of the local food movement and explore why it’s gained such traction.