We're Edging Toward a Local, Organic Food Revolution

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TESTINGby Rona Fried With years of extreme drought in California and the Midwest bread basket, we’re beginning to see how climate change can have a devastating impact on food supplies and prices. The silver lining is this could lead us to a more sustainable food system, one that relies on locally produced food and that doesn’t depend on transporting it huge distances (which would lower emissions). This isn’t pie in the sky – 80-100% of Americans’ food could be grown within 50-100 miles of our homes, concludes Elliott Campbell, a professor at University of California/Merced, in the study, "The Large Potential of Local Croplands to Meet Food Demand in the United States." Locally produced food isn’t new – we’ve seen an explosion in farmers markets and Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs) in recent years, and the USDA has been fostering local "food hubs," but there’s huge room for growth. 30% of New York City’s population could be fed from farms within 100 miles, as could half the people in the greater Los Angeles area, for example. The percentage goes up as people eat more plants and less meat. Compost collected from cities would fertilize the farms, obviating the need for petroleum-based […]

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