November 12, 2008
More on the war on food miles. Ronald Bailey from the conservative reasononline argues that air freighting food accounts for a small fraction of the CO2 emitted in getting food from farm to our plates, and that we're better off growing food where it's cheapest to do so.
Of course, this is capitalism's answer for everything, and explains why it's cheaper to make New York City's manhole covers in India. Capitalism relentlessly seeks to maximize profit and minimize costs, so Detroit built SUV's for years and couldn't figure out how to make money off smaller fuel-efficient cars (and gas prices were cheap so who cared) and now needs government money to produce hybrids, and China builds pretty much everything.
Among other things this results in cheap and plentiful bananas, which are the easiest thing to feed babies (they come with a built-in wrapper.) But all the enivronmental movement is doing by pointing out food miles is asking, Is this the best thing to do? Isn't it worth considering what we are doing with our food supply and why? But the demonization of the environmental movement is part of what is pushing the Right out of the mainstream of rational public discourse. It's pretty clear by now that the "free market" can't even take care of itself, much less our healthcare or food supply.