Thursday, 28 August 2008

Wine, Local Fruit, and Mangos: Carbon Footprint News

Shipping a bottle of wine from Bordeaux to New York results in l.8 kilograms of CO2 emissions, while shipping the same size bottle from Napa, California, produces 2.6 kilograms, according to a The Globe and Mail story last week. It had a nifty little map showing a “green line” snaking from the eastern edge of the Texas-Mexico border through the states of the Old Confederacy to Chicago: on one side the American wine trucked from California was “greener” while on the other, the French wine, shipped by sea, was.

The story went on to detail how winemakers are experimenting with lighter bottles in order to cut down on shipping costs and carbon emissions. Fine initiatives, I’m sure, and fuel for Lee’s infatuation with French and Italian wines. It also is welcome news for me. Mangos are something I’ve discovered in recent years, but I’ve been feeling guilty about eating them. They must be harvested when nearly ripe which I thought meant they had to be air freighted long distances. But Mangos from Mexico can be trucked here, while it seems that the thicker skinned varieties can be shipped by sea.

Even those, of course, have a bigger carbon footprint than Quebec strawberries and Ontario peaches, and there is no reason not to enjoy them now when they are so good. The pears in the back yard—I picked another lot this morning, and ended up putting a lot of windfall in the trash because the compost heap can’t handle what I have—are even more ecologically sound. But I guess I can permit myself a mango now and then when there is little local fruit.

As for Quebec wines--well, so far they aren't as good as ones from the Niagara peninsula (where the peaches come from) but the Orpailleur white is nice and refreshing.

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