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Judging organic food based on miles to grocery store

A study from the University of Alberta concluded that the environmental impact of food-miles racked up by organic produce when making the trip from farm to grocery store cancels out the benefits of growing it according to organic principals. quotes researcher Vicki Burtt: “If you’re buying green, you should consider the distance food travels. If it’s traveling further [than traditionally grown crops], then some of the benefits of organic crops are canceled out by the extra environmental costs.”

Publication details of the study are not available, and the full methodology and have not been seen by or me. However, a report at EurikaAlert provides insight into a bias and potential conflict of interest by the authors.

It turns out that Ms. Burtt and co-author Dr. Sean Cash are in the Department of Rural Economy at the university.

“To help reduce greenhouse gases, Burtt recommends that shoppers switch to buying locally produced food.”

6/20/07 18:27 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.