When we think about sources of greenhouse gas emissions responsible for global climate change, images of power plants, automobiles, and industry come to mind. Rarely does it occur to us that part of the problem may be on our dinner plates. Yet agriculture is responsible for one-third of greenhouse gas emissions globally. Industrial farming processes used to fill our supermarket shelves—such as mechanization, concentrated animal feeding operations, and agricultural “inputs” (synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides) that use fossil fuels as their starting materials—make industrial agriculture an energy-intensive process. But farming activity from planting to harvest takes only one-fifth of the total energy consumed in agriculture. Most of the energy is consumed during transport, storage, and processing. Our food typically travels between 1,500 and 2,500 miles ...

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