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Food Miles Essay

530 words - 3 pages

Food miles ‘myth’

Article talks about the ‘myth’ of food miles as some people argue that imported food is greener than food produced in the UK. Introduces readers to a family living in Fife, Scotland who only each food grown in the area. Father Mike believes people should eat locally produced food to save the environment (locavores). The idea that only ‘local is good” has come under attack. Some people argue that because food grown in the UK uses fertilsers and machines such as tractors in their production, they are in no way ‘carbon friendly’. Experts also argue that the idea of ‘food miles’ is useless, as it doesn’t ‘inform about anything except distance travelled’. Imported foods such as beans from Kenya are said to ...view middle of the document...

Local food is MILES better?
(1) Food miles harm the environment
Transporting food large distances uses a lot of fuel, whether it travels by lorry or plane. That means more carbon dioxide emissions and more global warming. 
Did you know? Since 1978 the amount of food moved about within the UK by HGV has increased by 23% and the average distance for each trip has jumped by 50%.
(2) Food miles reduce freshness
The further food has to travel, the longer it spends in transit. That means vitamins are lost and nutritional values inevitably decline. 
Did you know? Imports of indigenous foods rose from 13.5m tonnes in 1992 to 16.1m tonnes in 2002.
(3) Food miles mean less security
As time goes by, a greater and greater proportion of UK food comes in from abroad. At a time when the world has never seemed such an unstable place, is it really a good idea to rely so heavily on distant countries to supply such a vital commodity?
Did you know? 95% of fruit and 50% of vegetables eaten in the UK are imported.
(4) Food miles make us lose our sense of seasonality
Being able to buy strawberries in January can be appealing. But is it really a good idea to ship seasonal fruit and vegetables thousands of miles across the world when, if we waited a few months, we could buy them from a few miles away? Actively giving priority to buying foods that are in season is an easy way of cutting food miles.
Did you know? If all foods were sourced from within 20km (12.5m) of where they were consumed, the country could save £2.1bn in environmental and congestion costs.

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