Sunday, November 16, 2008

Food Miles and Adam Smith

Pierre Desrouchers, Associate Professor, University of Toronto, writes in Le Marche Libre, HERE:

“Buy Global: the ‘food mile’ perspective distorts the environmental impacts of agricultural production”

Our modern globalized food supply chain is a demonstrably superior alternative that has evolved through constant competition and ever more rigorous management efficiency. Indeed, a world food chain characterized by free trade and the absence of agricultural (and other) subsidies would deliver lower prices and more variety in a manner that is both more economically and environmentally efficient. The underlying principle would be very simple. As the Scottish economist Adam Smith wrote more than two centuries ago, it is the "maxim of every prudent master of a family, never to attempt to make at home what it will cost him more to make than to buy."

“Feeding a rapidly growing world population in a sustainable manner requires long-distance trade to insure that food is produced most efficiently in the most suitable locations, in the process economizing on all required inputs relative to alternatives”.


An example of the proper use of Adam Smith’s Legacy.


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