How Green Was My Spinach

Home » Blog » Nature » How Green Was My Spinach

The planet is warming. Every person and every business should consider the carbon impact of every purchase. Pringle Creek does. Unfortunately, most people and businesses don’t care enough to do that thinking. Governments will need to tax carbon, we suspect; people and businesses do care about prices.

For now, those of us who care could use more information. From The Daily Score, the weblog of Sightline Instititute, “Look for the Onion Label:”

British supermarket chain Tesco–apparently, the world’s fourth-largest retailer–is going to start labelling the carbon footprint of its foods.

Most of the remainder of the Daily Score item is about how complicated it will be to compile this information—and even to decide what should be included. The gasoline used to drive the workers to the farm to pick the crops? If you buy a loaf of bread you need to know how much energy the commercial oven used. How will that compare with the rice you still need to cook at home?

Such labelling information would be complicated but probably still useful, so we would love to see it in the US. But for now, for those of us who care, it’s enough to know a few things. 1) Where the food is from, so when we compare apples with apples, we can buy Washington instead of New Zealand. 2) Whether the food is organically grown. 3) That cows “emit” methane, a greenhouse gas that is 10-20 times worse than carbon dioxide, they eat feed crops that require energy inputs, and cows cause many other bad environmental effects. However, it is unknown whether the wild animals that roamed 200 years ago were any better.

Buying locally grown food is heathier, fresher, better for our local economy, and it causes less carbon. We’re so lucky to live in one of the world’s greatest agricultural regions. We have mighty fine local food.

Speaking of locally grown food, Pringle Creek’s community garden will be planted in April.