Yet, the author of the op-ed piece, Math Lessons for Locavores, in the NY Times argues that:
The local food movement now threatens to devolve into another one of those self-indulgent — and self-defeating — do-gooder dogmas. Arbitrary rules, without any real scientific basis, are repeated as gospel by "locavores," celebrity chefs and mainstream environmental organizations. Words like "sustainability" and "food-miles" are thrown around without any clear understanding of the larger picture of energy and land use...
The statistics brandished by local-food advocates to support such doctrinaire assertions are always selective, usually misleading and often bogus.
I would argue the author is using the same math legerdemain to support his case. He's ignoring the "buy fresh" part of the equation. I'd like to see where he's getting his numbers and how his calculations compare to food grown in season, that don't require excess energy inputs (e.g. a hothouse, etc.). You know, the kind of food that locavores generally choose. Yes, growing tomatoes in a hothouse in NY is going to take a tremendous amount of energy inputs, but again, that's not what being a locavore is about.
Being a locavore has a lot to do with supporting local economies, creating a stronger local food security net in addition to eating foods in season. Not just avoiding trucked in tomatoes in the middle of winter.
What do you think? Is being a locavore just about food miles or is it a lot more than that?