Food and Agriculture News: 6/30/22

Food and Agriculture News: 6/30/22

Indoor Farming Is a ‘No-Brainer.’ Except for the Carbon Footprint. - NYTimes 

One of our first guests on Farmers Jam Radio was Henry Gordon-Smith, founder of Agritecture. Our big point of discussion was about greenwashing in the vertical / indoor agriculture industry. While there’s a lot of hype and potential with indoor agriculture, and it does offer benefits like reducing food miles as well as dramatically reducing water waste and use of pesticides, it’s not nearly as “green” as it makes out. 

Most of these “farms” are run from lights, powered by fossil fuels. New studies show that tomatoes grown indoors have six times the carbon footprint of field tomatoes, even when accounting for the food miles. Speaking of which…

‘Food miles’ have larger climate impact than thought, study suggests - Carbon Brief 

Some huge numbers in this report:

- Global “food miles” emissions are higher than previously thought – accounting for nearly one-fifth of total food-system emissions – new research suggests.

- 12.5% of the world’s population are responsible for 52% of international food miles and 46% of the associated emissions.

Now, here’s the catch: eating locally would only reduce overall emissions by about 9%. Why’s that? Because this study captures the entirety of food miles, including inputs – not just the end product getting to its final destination. So if your local farm uses fertilizer made in Canada, their food miles go way up. 

There’s a fascinating graphic in this report that shows how meat produced in China has inputs from almost every continent. 

Is Seaweed the Next Big Alternative to Meat? - Smithsonian Mag 

Long time readers know the drill by now about headlines like these – the answer is almost always no. 

While you could start seeing more seaweed on menus, can we stop with the meat alternatives? Make seaweed delicious and people will eat it. There’s no need to make it something it’s not. 

Lifeless Market For Meatless Meat - Forbes

“Plant-based meats seem to fizzle before the trend ever really got going.” 

The prosecution rests.

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