Thursday, May 28, 2009

Skepticblog » The Fallacy of Locally Grown Produce

"Previously on Mully410 Critical Blog: Mully410 wrote about how your ignorance or apathy towards math costs you." In this article, Brian Dunning (esteemed skeptic and original Skeptoid), explains how buying locally is actually worse for the environment than buying at big stores. Here is a snippet:

The famous Traveling Salesman math puzzle is much more than just a fun game. It’s a dramatically illustrated way to understand the efficiencies involved in product distribution models. The problem works like this: Take a map and draw dozens of dots on it. The salesman’s task is to define a driving route that visits each dot, with the minimum driving distance connecting them all. He has to visit so many locations, and he wants to burn as little gas as possible. Obviously this is something that people are looking at harder than ever today.

Many years ago I did some consulting for a company that was then called Henry’s Marketplace, a produce retailer built on the founding principles of locally grown food...Part of what I helped them with was the management of product at distribution centers. This sparked a question: I had assumed that their locally grown produce model meant that they used no distribution centers. What followed was a fascinating conversation where I learned part of the economics of locally grown produce. It was an eye-opening experience.

Please go here and read the full article: Skepticblog » The Fallacy of Locally Grown Produce Then, like I always say, do some research on your own. Get out the graph paper and a calculator and do some math.

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