Benefits of Local Food Production Revealed in Iowa Study

Scientists at Iowa State University examined a range of environmental impacts of vegetable production and distribution and found local production offers significant benefits. The published results of this study were selected as Editor’s Choice for 2021 in the Journal of Sustainability. The study involved life-cycle analysis for 18 types of vegetables in large-scale conventional production, medium-scale direct-to-consumer production, and individual household production. Several factors were included: greenhouse gas emissions, energy requirements, and water use of plants throughout production, transportation, and consumption. Results from the LCAs show the large-scale production model had significantly greater global warming potential and higher water demand than the medium- and small-scale production models.