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Fact or Fiction? Buying Local Reduces Carbon Footprints

The word "locavore" — only eating foods produced within 100 miles of where you live — was nonexistent a few years ago, but has since become a part of mainstream vocabulary, particularly in cities like San Francisco and New York.

But a recent piece by Conservation magazine, entitled "The Problem of What to Eat," questions the status quo of whether buying local really does reduce one's carbon emission. It's obvious that local produce has a lower carbon footprint when compared to air-freighted foods, but it's actually unclear when comparing local foods to those arriving by sea, rail, or road.

While there's an interesting point made here, I think the carbon issue is really only one part of eating local. Sure, people eat locally to reduce emissions, but there are other reasons, too: The fresh taste of produce picked that day, the ability to talk to farmers firsthand and learn about the food, the idea that we all have a chance to get a little "closer" to our food. So I'll keep trying to buy local when I can.

How about you? Do you eat locally? If so, what are your reasons for being a locavore?


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