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16 February 2010February 16, 2010

Will buying food locally save the planet?

Economic Note on the buy local concept as expressed in “food miles”

Will buying food locally save the planet?

The movement promoting the purchase of locally produced food has grown in influence in recent years, in Quebec as in the rest of the world. Beyond the traditional economic arguments based on a protectionist approach, it is the environmental aspect which seems nowadays to motivate the support of groups and citizens in favour of reducing “food miles.” It is argued that by discouraging consumers from buying food transported from distant locations, less energy – and ultimately less greenhouse gas – is being expanded, thus contributing to the fight against environmental degradation.

Links of interest

Media Release:
Buying locally grown food will not help the environment

Mercatus Policy Series Policy Primer, No. 8. Arlington, VA (Mercatus Center at George Mason University, October 2008): Yes We Have No Bananas: A Critique of the Food Miles Perspective

The movement promoting the purchase of locally produced food has grown in influence in recent years, in Quebec as in the rest of the world. Beyond the traditional economic arguments based on a protectionist approach, it is the environmental aspect which seems nowadays to motivate the support of groups and citizens in favour of reducing “food miles.” It is argued that by discouraging consumers from buying food transported from distant locations, less energy – and ultimately less greenhouse gas – is being expanded, thus contributing to the fight against environmental degradation.


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