Digest – Commentary: Mileage counts, Stonyfield rock-throwing

starFood miles per gallon: Anthony Flaccavento, director of Appalachian Sustainable Development, argues persuasively against the anti-locavore hypothesis that shipping food in tractor-trailers is more efficient than local food transactions. (Washington Post)

New front in the milk wars: Organic dairy farmers are pissed at yogurt behemoth Stonyfield, claiming it hasn’t sufficiently raised the prices it pays farmers enough to keep up with rising costs of organic feed, energy, and health insurance. They say the issue boils down to this: "What is more important to Stonyfield Farm and HP Hood, market share or the health and welfare of their organic family farmers?" Well, those two things are mutually dependent, responds Stonyfield Farm CE-Yo Gary Hirshberg in his guest post on Grist, which we think shows a refreshing economic transparency, if not exactly an "I feel your pain" empathy.

Downergate dismissed: The Times’ Joe Nocera presents a jaded (but probably accurate) take on the Hallmark/Westland brouhaha. "The Humane Society of the United States did a good thing in bringing the abuse to public light," he writes. "But it had nothing to do with the food supply or mad cow disease." (New York Times)

3 Responsesto “Digest – Commentary: Mileage counts, Stonyfield rock-throwing”

  1. Andy2 says:

    That is an interesting article on food miles. I find it a very interesting topic. Certainly the whole issue more complex than that article discusses, but it is a compelling explanation for literal food miles. Essentially I think people will need to be willing to sacrifice what foods they have available to make any difference.

  2. One of the problems I find with “economic studies” is that the subjects of the study (farmer’s market consumers in this case) are assumed to not exist outside of the study. It is not just grocery store milage vs. farmer’s market milage, but also the milage spent doing other things instead of being at the market. In my experience selling at farmer’s markets, many customers spend a lot of time at the market, talking to friends, vendors, buying—in essence having a community experience. If they weren’t there where would they be? My assumptions are: because humans have a innate need for community, and weekend is the only free time available, they will be going from mall to mall trying to satify this need for community, using more gas than just going to the farmer’s market.

  3. It isn’t the mileage that’s the real issue. We can’t afford to lose our local food production capability. If we become dependent on food from afar then when it stops coming, and it will stop, we’ll be up chits sreek. Localvorism is basic food security and the most secure is what we produce, then what our neighbors produce and outward in ever widening circles.