Local food ‘greener than organic’
Organic apples, BBC
Food should come from within your area, the report says
Local food is usually more “green” than organic food, according to a report published in the journal Food Policy.
The authors say organic farming is also valuable, but people can help the environment even more by buying food from within a 20km (12-mile) radius.
The team calculated a shopping basket’s hidden costs, which mount up as produce is transported over big distances. The study found “road miles” account for proportionately more environmental damage than “air miles”.
Therefore, the researchers’ message to consumers is this: it is not good enough to buy food from within the UK – it is better if it comes from within your area, too.
A big city like London could be provided with a lot more seasonal vegetables from local farms
Co-author Professor Tim Lang
However, they admit that consumers are prevented from “doing the right thing” because of inadequate labelling.
“The most political act we do on a daily basis is to eat, as our actions affect farms, landscapes and food businesses,” said co-author Professor Jules Pretty, from the University of Essex, UK.
“Food miles are more significant than we previously thought, and much now needs to be done to encourage local production and consumption of food.”
Accountant Lloyd Kimura lives and works on the honeymoon island of Maui.
Yet when it comes to shedding months of pent-up job stress, relief is thousands of miles away.
As many as four times a year, the Hawaii native trades his office chair for a seat inside the Indian casinos dotting the California desert.
"A week max," Kimura says of his trips to the mainland. "It forces my mind to focus on something other than work."
In appealing for government assistance, the bee industry (and bee researchers) emphasize the “billions of dollars” in value that honey bees are worth to agriculture – that without subsidies, bee colony numbers will continue to decline, causing severe economic consequences for the production of many agricultural crops.
Certainly the bee industry is undergoing major problems, most notably from parasitic mites, but the “billions of dollars benefit to agriculture” argument should be abandoned. Here’s why:
Over the past 20 years, CA’s almond acreage has increased to the point where one million bee colonies are now required for February pollination (at the rate of two colonies per acre). Because almonds bloom in February and because bees are released from almond orchards by mid-March, the one million colonies coming out of almond orchards represent a pool of bees that can be transported to any area of the U.S. for crop pollination purposes – provided the growers of such crops are willing to pay for transportation and related costs.
Almond growers pay dearly for their bees – rental fees are up to $50/colony and rising as new acreage goes in. Almond pollinatlon has completely changed the face of the U.S. beekeeping industry – without almond pollination income, many US. beekeepers would be out of business. Indeed, some beekeepers are increasing their colony numbers solely to supply bees for CA’s increasing almond acreage.
In essence, CA’s almond industry is subsidizing the U.S. bee industry to the tune of millions of dollars a year. Any government subsidy would be dwarfed by the infusion of money that the bee industry has already received and continues to receive from the almond industry.
Title: Calculationg costs of using farm machinery: a standardized procedure for Hawaii.
Personal Authors: Huang, W. Y., Marutani, H. K., Vieth, G. R., Keeler, J. T.
Author Affiliation: College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.
Editors: No editors
Document Title: Departmental Paper – Hawaii Agricultural Experiment Station (USA) 1979
Based on the recommended method of the American Society of Agricultural Engineering, a modified procedure for calculating the costs of using farm machinery in Hawaii is developed. This modified procedure can handle the situations of highly variable annual machine utilization rates of Hawaii’s diversified agriculture. An example illustrating the computation procedure and case study of a typical watermelon farm are presented. The procedure is also used to analyse the relation between costs and annual utilization. The analysis indicates that a farmer who has a low annual machine utilization rate incurs a high cost for using the machine, due mainly to the high interest charge. Authors’ summary. KEYWORDS: TROPAG | Economics | development and social sciences | agricultural equipment | costs | production function | Hawaii.
Calculationg costs of using farm machinery: a standardized procedure for Hawaii. | Huang, W. Y., Marutani, H. K., Vieth, G. R., Keeler, J. T. | Departmental Paper – Hawaii Agricultural Experiment Station (USA) 1979 |