Not a lot of people think about how long their food has traveled or has been prepared when they do their usual grocery shopping. When it comes to environmentalists, these are major factors that they always consider in their food. Food miles are how long your food has to travel from its source to you as the consumer. You may live in Europe and buy fruits from Africa or live in North America and purchase poultry from Southeast Asia. No matter what, chances are you don’t care about the distance your food has traveled when you buy them. It is important to bear in mind, though, that food miles always have a significant influence on the amount you pay for your groceries as well as the environment.
So, why are food miles a vital consideration? If your food comes from long distances, then chances are, it is sea-freighted, driven, or flown from one point of origin to another. Each time food is transported across locations, carbon footprints are generated. These footprints originate from the CO2 produced by the transportation used. Simply, when food has to be transported further from its source, then it’s highly likely to cause more pollution. Now that you know this, you gain the understanding of the value of food miles and why they should be an important factor throughout the world. Things must be done to control them.
Food transportation is influenced by food demand from consumers. The demand for seasonal food or locally-grown and produced ones has gone down because of the availability of staple foods throughout the year that can be easily transported from other countries. Keeping track of food miles is not an easy task. Nevertheless, each day, it is becoming more and more important as consumers realize its importance. Changing food-buying habits for their long-term benefits is a motivation to learn more about food miles and its effects on consumers.
It becomes easier for consumers to reduce food miles used when they reconsider how they use produce and make that it stay within the season. When everyone decides to contribute to reduction in food miles, then reduction in CO2 output and pollution is also expected. So, what do you do to contribute to the reduction in food miles every time you go shopping? If you are going to purchase fresh produce, check the country of origin. Every pack often includes this information. Take the time to consider whether you need to buy items that come from other parts of the world or if you can still find alternatives locally. Make sure that you can identify produce if it is seasonal or not. As you take the time to find out about these things, it becomes easier for you to contribute to the decrease in food miles if you know what produce you should buy and where at certain times of the year.