Reminiscent of work by Anna Lappé and the Small Planet Institute‘s “Take a Bite out of Climate Change” initiative, I stumbled across  Food-Miles and the Relative Climate Impacts of Food Choices in the United States by Christopher L. Weber and H. Scott Matthews in Environmental Science and Technology. Looking past the fancy equations you see data presented like this snippet of Figure 1, documenting the green house gas emissions associated with household food consumption, allowing for a comparison of impacts between food groups.

The article presents data that systematically compares the life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions associated with food production against long-distance distribution, aka “food-miles,” finding that the production cycle accounts for the majority of emissions. In other words, changing the type of food you eat (e.g., less red meat) does more good for the environment than buying local.