The locavore’s dilemma

Don’t miss Harvard’s Ed Glaeser on the fantasy of “urban agriculture.” Isn’t it odd that most people seem to appreciate that it doesn’t make sense to make their own shoes, pencils or iPhones. But somehow it is a “good thing” to grow their own food. As a hobby, of course, gardening is satisfying, relaxing. But somehow this is generalized into the locavore philosophy of “local food good, agriculture bad”.

The locavores might learn from interviewing a few African farmers on how wonderful it is to grow their own food.

(…) The connection between higher density living and less energy use is strong. Urban farms mean less people per acre which in turn means longer drives and more gasoline consumption. Shipping food is just far less energy intensive than moving people. If the First Lady wants to help the environment, she should campaign for high rise apartments, rather than plant vegetables.