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(Phys Org2)   Can "grow local, buy local" go global? Scientists have bad news about that   (phys.org) divider line
    More: Obvious, Cereal, Agriculture, food production, recent study, World population, Associate Professor Matti Kummu, recent decades, food availability  
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542 clicks; posted to Food » on 18 Apr 2020 at 3:23 PM (39 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



12 Comments     (+0 »)
 
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2020-04-18 1:41:48 PM  
Looks like it could work out fine in most of the US and Europe.
My first thought was of Chez Panisse showing it can work out really well.
 
2020-04-18 1:56:02 PM  
Of course it's not going to work out for grains in dense urban areas - that's obvious. You have a hard time growing and harvesting wheat in Shenzhen or NYC. This could of course change with technology. Different field crops could be grown and harvested by robots in greenhouses on top of buildings or on raised platforms in public spaces.

For food products that have to be moved a long distance, railroads are a very efficient option. Unfortunately in North America, we've been really shiatty at maintaining our railroad infrastructure.
 
2020-04-18 1:58:36 PM  
That map shows that the coastal PNW (west of the Cascades) is a long way from it's food.   At least as far as I can tell.   Considering that everything from wheat to apples to hops and pretty much everything in between (except citrus and exotic fruits) are grown in the PNW.   Meat as well, beef for sure.   Dairy, oh yeah.   Maybe it's the dependence on coffee?

I can see other parts of the world.   But how much of the ag is actually intended for local consumption?   How many of those regions are using their ag land for cash crops to be exported elsewhere?

Desert and extremely arid regions...I can completely see.
 
2020-04-18 3:54:43 PM  

Dewey Fidalgo: Desert and extremely arid regions...I can completely see.


We're a desert here in Salt Lake, and every store here has shelves and shelves of locally produced products, and most of the produce is locally produced. And then Idaho(Along with potatoes) has tons of wheat being grown. Real easy to buy local for a lot of stuff here.
 
2020-04-18 4:59:20 PM  
The big issue grow local/buy local is  is even if you consider local the state your in ( In my case MInnesota) or region your in ( Midwest)  there are going to be things you can't grow locally and large areas that can't grow much of anything for large swathes of the year.

yes there are ways to preserve the local produce for use in the off months when its not available , doing so makes it not ideal  for all uses,  Fresh veggies are just better for some applications and absolutely necessary for others.   So for part of the year bringing in stuff from elsewhere is necessary.    That said we definitely eat more locally than we currently do.
 
2020-04-18 5:03:21 PM  
We're gonna hafta sit down and have a serious conversation about whether we want to spend resources growing crops where they don't grow well to stay "local" (like melons in the desert), or shipping produce around after we've grown it in places it does grow well. Probably on a crop-by-crop basis too.

We keep letting the market decide and it's not going to kick out the best answers re: the environment and emergency situations.
 
2020-04-18 5:41:20 PM  
Most of the buy-local crowd would probably argue that any area where it's not feasible should be considered uninhabitable and left to wilderness anyway. The people there can simply be relocated to big cities in better areas, creating a healthier and eco-friendlier population density and letting our furry friends have their space: everyone wins, right?
 
2020-04-18 7:42:55 PM  

khatores: Of course it's not going to work out for grains in dense urban areas - that's obvious. You have a hard time growing and harvesting wheat in Shenzhen or NYC. This could of course change with technology. Different field crops could be grown and harvested by robots in greenhouses on top of buildings or on raised platforms in public spaces.

For food products that have to be moved a long distance, railroads are a very efficient option. Unfortunately in North America, we've been really shiatty at maintaining our railroad infrastructure.


The US ships more rail freight by ton and percentage than Europe
 
2020-04-18 8:16:37 PM  

This text is now purple: khatores: Of course it's not going to work out for grains in dense urban areas - that's obvious. You have a hard time growing and harvesting wheat in Shenzhen or NYC. This could of course change with technology. Different field crops could be grown and harvested by robots in greenhouses on top of buildings or on raised platforms in public spaces.

For food products that have to be moved a long distance, railroads are a very efficient option. Unfortunately in North America, we've been really shiatty at maintaining our railroad infrastructure.

The US ships more rail freight by ton and percentage than Europe


Sure we do...and freight is the mainstay of rail in the US (passenger traffic certainly isn't). But freight doesn't require much in the way of upgrades or maintenance to the system past what's necessary just to keep it running. Most freight doesn't care if it takes 3 days or 3 weeks to get to its destination.

However, this sometimes precludes food from going by rail unless it's refrigerated or going a relatively short distance. Watermelons going from CA to ND might not actually get there without a substantial amount of the product being lost. Trucks are more favored for perishable food for this reason, but they have a much higher carbon footprint if you're doing regular shipments.
 
2020-04-18 10:03:38 PM  
i tough it was because the u.s was still shipping coal by trains and that stuff is heavy but could be wrong.
 
2020-04-18 11:32:39 PM  
Maybe I'm missing something because I skimmed the article, but I'm pretty sure a change in diet is an essential component of the "eat local" movement. This analysis just seems really dumb.
 
2020-04-19 12:00:48 AM  
Sure -- as long as you are OK with never eating/drinking coffee, chocolate, coaoa, bananas, lemons, limes, coconut, pineapple, kiwi or mango ever again.  Also, no out-of-season fruit like strawberries, cherries, pears, peaches, tomatoes, water melon and more for the majority of the year.
And don't forget to don't eat seafood if you live more than an hour drive from the coast.

So while "grow/buy local" sounds perfectly reasonable on the surface, it would have a MAJOR imposition on the lifestyle of pretty much everyone, and the vast majority of people will not be willing to do what would be needed because people are selfish and we all like our 'luxuries'.
 
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