Saturday, March 1, 2008

Miles and miles and miles.

"Food Miles" are one way to measure the environmental impact of food production. The term refers to the distance a food product travels from point of production to the consumer.

A recent study sited in Big Foot, a new book that assesses the carbon foot print of food production, concluded that based on manufacturing, transportation, and energy use wine drinkers East of Columbus, Ohio actually make less of an environmental impact by buying wine from Europe than California. For those of us West of the Mississippi it's more green to buy wine from California.

The best choice for reducing our carbon footprint isn't as obvious or simple as buying local. Shipping is a far more efficient and less environmentally impactful means of transportation than trucking. Just something to ponder next time you're at Whole Foods and see all those "buy local" signs. What does "local" mean to a large chain like Whole Foods?

Peter and I took the above picture at Frescobaldi in Tuscany. This is the true epitome of local. You bring your own container - of any kind - fill 'er up - and pay by the liter. Because our system is so over regulated, it's illegal in the United States. And check out the price. 1.15 Euros a liter. A bottle of wine is 750ml, so that would be about a $1.50 a bottle... Good for the environment and for the wallet! (Who knew that wine could be cheaper than gas??)

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