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IPFS News Link • Climate Change

Scaremongering climate "experts" spread absurd myth that HOME GARDENING...

•, Belle Carter

A recent study wants to stop people from being sustainably food-independent and discourage them from growing their own food in urban settings. The research indicated that resorting to garden-to-table produce causes a far greater carbon footprint than conventional agricultural practices, such as rural farms.

This research by University of Michigan scientists, which was published in the journal Nature Cities, looked at how much carbon dioxide (CO2) was produced when growing food in different types of urban farms. It found that, on average, a serving of food made from traditional farms creates 0.07 kilogram (kg) of CO2. Meanwhile, the impact on the environment is almost five times higher at 0.34kg per portion for individual city gardens, as per the study.

The paper's first author Jake Hawes said: "The most significant contributor to carbon emissions on the urban agriculture sites we studied was the infrastructure used to grow the food, from raised beds to garden sheds to pathways, these constructions had a lot of carbon invested in their construction."

The study recruited 73 urban agriculture sites around the world, including some in Europe, the United States and the United Kingdom, and conducted a comprehensive life cycle assessment on the site's infrastructure, irrigation and supplies. Hawes and his teammates grouped urban agriculture sites into three categories: individual or family gardens, including allotments; collective gardens, such as community gardens; and larger, commercial-orientated urban farms.

The researchers also found other "hazardous" factors such as poorly managed compost and other synthetic inputs. They further advised that fruit was 8.6 times more eco-friendly when grown conventionally compared to in a city, whereas vegetables were 5.8 times better for the environment when left to the professionals. However, they found that some crops have a lower carbon footprint than others and can help green-fingered members of the public make their allotment or garden better for the environment. Tomatoes and asparagus grown domestically have a lower carbon footprint than conventional farming, they added.

"We find that urban farmers and gardeners can reduce their net impact by focusing on foods that are high-carbon in conventional agriculture," Hawes said. "Two examples of this that we identify are greenhouse-grown crops, including many tomatoes, and crops that are often flown in from across the planet, such as asparagus."