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Transcript of Food Miles
Food miles states how far the food that we eat has traveled from the farm where it's first produced, before it reaches our tables. to places as far away as China in order to be processed... Before making its way back to European tables. 25% of heavy goods transport happening in the UK comes from transporting food up and down the country. that adds to billions of food miles every year. That's a lot of fuel- and carbon dioxide. A lot of people think that we should just cut the food miles by buying locally, and so reduce CO2 emissions, but it's not that simple. If we start avoiding importing food from other countries, it could have a catastrophic effect on their local economies. A lot of countries in West Africa depend on agriculture to sustain their economy. Ceasing to buy the food they produce could lead them to poverty. Also, in many cases, transporting the food from other countries can actually prove to be more cost-effective than growing it locally. Also, people have more choice when it comes to buying food that can't be obtained locally. For example, a DEFRA study concluded that it would be more environmentally friendly to import tomatoes from Spain rather than grow them in the UK, because heating British greenhouses uses more energy than transport. An increase in food miles is because of the globalization of trade. People now have access to food grown and processed from all over the world, because transport is so much easier. Also, the concept of food miles may be misleading, because it doesn't take into account the size of transportation, and the energy being used to keep the food cold and fresh. Many people think that buying food that has travelled more is bad for the environment, when actually it could be more cost-effective in some cases. However, 'food miles' could benefit big organisations like Wal-mart. It's been said that the 'green' strategy provides better value for customers. There are other disadvantages (besides the obvious excess CO2 produced) For example, there may be damage to a lot of the food during transportation, or decreased freshness. Also, there may be pollution to eco systems from non-native species, e.g insects in fruit. Finally, buying food grown in other countries is bad for local economies, because the multiplier effect cannot take place if the money is going to someplace else.