On Clover-choked New Zealand, Christine Keeler and Food Miles

christine keeler

According to 21st Century Citizen the New York Times today carries an opinion piece about New Zealand-based scientists who “recently published a study challenging the premise that more food miles automatically mean greater fossil fuel consumption”.

Paraphrasing Christine Keeler’s immortal words: “Well, they would say that, wouldn’t they?”

Who sponsored the research?

Given this claim:

“they found that lamb raised on New Zealand’s clover-choked pastures and shipped 11,000 miles by boat to Britain produced 1,520 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions per ton while British lamb produced 6,280 pounds of carbon dioxide per ton, in part because poorer British pastures force farmers to use feed.” [italics mine]

my money is on a quango connected to the New Zealand Lamb Board.

picture borrowed from the V&A museum. Its nice to see the contact sheet rather than just the iconic chair shot.


  1. says

    Oh come now James – this is not up to your usual standard of analysis. Just because the conclusion of the study is convenient to the locale where it was done does not make it wrong, you know. Feel free to argue that there are other reasons besides fossil fuel consumption why local food production is a good thing. Feel free to track down the actual study and demonstrate flawed methodology. But as it stands I see no real basis beyond faith for your distrust in the original study.

  2. says

    That’s probably fair Mike. It was really intended as a throwaway rather than deep analysis. Nice reason to use the infamous Christine Keeler pictures though. I better go dig into the original study.

  3. Stephen Llewellyn says wasn’t Christine Keeler who said it. It was Mandy Rice-Davis. And the proper quotation is “He would say that, wouldn’t he?”