Monday, June 23, 2008

Freakonomics: Do We Really Need a Few Billion Locavores?

On the NYT Freakonomics blog, Stephen J. Dubner tackles the question of whether the inefficiencies of growing our own food wouldn't actually be more resource-intensive than relying on the food grown by professionals. As his launching off point he recounts his family's experiment with making their own orange sherbet.
We spent about $12 on heavy cream, half-and-half, orange juice, and food coloring — the only ingredient we already had was sugar — to make a quart of ice cream.... In the end, we wound up throwing away about three-quarters of what we made. Which means we spent $12, not counting labor or electricity or capital costs (somebody bought the machine, even if we didn’t) for roughly three scoops of lousy ice cream.

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