Should I buy a Prius or just eat less meat?

  • Due May 19, 2014 at 9:59pm
  • Points 1
  • Questions 1
  • Time Limit None


Thanks in part to an explosion of popular books and documentaries, more and more people are realizing just how much energy our food system uses. Eating more plant-based, local food is a good rule-of-thumb solution, but it's not quite that simple. Should I use the gas to make an extra trip to the farmer's market, or just pick up my produce at the supermarket?  Is microwaving spinach from across the country better than sauteing spinach from a local farm?  Or, as my wife reminds me - "How much energy does it require to get your cocoa powder shipped to you from Ghana?" (The stuff is the best I've found, so this isn't a part of my footprint that I'm prepared to give up). In this module you will observe and analyze ways to save energy in our food production and then apply life-cycle assessment to a food decision.

“Our food is marinated in oil.” – Tom Friedman 


Reading & Video

Read  Sustainable Energy: Without the Hot Air, by David MacKay Chapters 13 & 15 


Mark Bittman on What's Wrong with What we Eat

Calculate your carbon footprint using The Nature Conservancy's Carbon CalculatorHere is how mine has changed since I first measured it in 2005.

Tweet your epiphany.

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