Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

A "sizable proportion of the population could meet its food needs" through farming within a 155-mile radius of its metropolitan area — fulfilling a locavore's dream, per a Tufts University study published this week.

Why it matters: The locavore and farm-to-table movements — as popularized by Michael Pollan, Alice Waters and others — inspire passion among foodies but actually represent just a small segment of U.S. agricultural activity.

Driving the news: The study looked at whether — in theory — 378 metropolitan areas "could meet their food needs from local agricultural land located within 250 kilometers [155 miles]."

  • Chicago, Seattle and Denver were among the big U.S. cities that would best be able to fulfill their own needs — with the big caveat that the current agricultural ecosystem would have to be radically upended.
  • New York, Los Angeles and Miami were among those with the least ability to feed themselves locally.

The intrigue: Ironically, the part of the country where interest in consuming local and regional food is the strongest — the "BoshWash" Northeastern corridor connecting Boston, New York and Washington, D.C. — is among the least conducive to feeding itself, according to Professor Christian Peters, lead author of the study, published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

  • "In most of the Northeast states, those cities would have a harder time meeting their food needs locally," Peters tells Axios.
  • There are a lot of caveats, too, said Peters, who's with the Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University.
  • For instance, "There's no universally agreed-to definition of what constitutes local food and what constitutes regional food."
  • "There's lots of inconsistent definitions, and that can be frustrating."

What they're saying: "Most cities along the Eastern Seaboard and in the southwest corner of the U.S. could not meet their food needs locally, even if every available acre of agricultural land was used for local food production," according to Peters.

  • “Yet, many cities in the rest of the country are surrounded by ample land to support local and regional food systems."

The bottom line: It's too early for locavores to rejoice.

Go deeper: 15-minute cities are making a comeback

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Microphones will be muted during parts of Thursday's presidential debate

Photos: Jim Watson and Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Commission on Presidential Debates adopted new rules on Monday to mute microphones to allow President Trump and Joe Biden two minutes of uninterrupted time per segment during Thursday night's debate, AP reports.

Why it matters: In the September debate, Trump interrupted Biden 71 times, compared with Biden's 22 interruptions of Trump.

Updated 48 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Politics: Trump says if Biden's elected, "he'll listen to the scientists"Trump calls Fauci a "disaster" on campaign call.
  2. Health: Coronavirus hospitalizations are on the rise — 8 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week.
  3. States: Wisconsin judge reimposes capacity limit on indoor venues.
  4. Media: Trump attacks CNN as "dumb b*stards" for continuing to cover pandemic.
  5. Business: Consumer confidence surveys show Americans are getting nervousHow China's economy bounced back from coronavirus.
  6. Sports: We've entered the era of limited fan attendance.
  7. Education: Why education technology can’t save remote learning.

Supreme Court denies Pennsylvania GOP request to limit mail-in voting

Protesters outside Supreme Court. Photo: Daniel Slim/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Monday denied a request from Pennsylvania's Republican Party to shorten the deadlines for mail-in ballots in the state. Thanks to the court's 4-4 deadlock, ballots can be counted for several days after Election Day.

Why it matters: It's a major win for Democrats that could decide the fate of thousands of ballots in a crucial swing state that President Trump won in 2016. The court's decision may signal how it would deal with similar election-related litigation in other states.