While locavores list numerous reasons for eating local -- including freshness, taste and boosting regional economies -- one primary argument is protection of the environment. Long-distance food transport sucks up more fossil fuels, says the Farmers Market Web site, and unleashes more carbon dioxide onto our planet.
That does sound dire. But what if conventional distributors make up for the long journeys by driving big trucks packed with produce? Let's say a distributor travels 1,000 miles and carries 1,000 apples to market, while 10 local farmers each drive a pickup 100 miles and carry 100 apples each. The local farmers log fewer food miles but cover the same total distance -- and use a comparable amount of fossil fuels -- for the same amount of food.
It appears to me that Kwok's hypothesis here relies entirely upon the assumption that per mile a distributor's barge and 18-wheeler generates the same amount of carbon emissions as a farmer's pickup, which is inconceivable to me. In other words, 1000 miles is 1000 miles, whether traversed by a Ford or a Peterbilt.
Is my logic solid or am I missing something?