Thanks for bursting my red meat bubble, World Changing.
While the cost of shipping fruits and vegetables across the United States to my kitchen are environmentally unfriendly, it pales in comparison to the methane and nitrous oxide created for the caloric equivalent of red meat. In other words, calorie for calorie, we'd be far better off significantly reducing red meat consumption around the world (e.g., the United States). Here's World Changing on the matter:
More and more consumers are trying to reduce the environmental impacts of the foods they eat.
But it's not so easy to know what to do -- in part because of the bewildering array of food choices the market offers, but also because it's hard to know what food choices carry the biggest impact.
This nifty study tries to clear away some of the murk, by tackling a fairly straightforward question: If you care about the climate, which is more important: what kind of food you eat, or where that food is grown?
To summarize the findings: all else being equal, locally-grown food is friendlier to the climate than food grown half a continent away. But if you're looking for a single food choice that will help curb your climate impact, your best bet is to stay away from cows!