Not a lot of people think about how long their food has traveled or has been prepared when they do their usual grocery shopping. These are things that any environmentalist will think about, though, in regard to their food. When you say food miles, you are referring to the distances that your food has to travel from where it came from 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. Either way, it is still most likely that you don’t consider the distance your food has traveled when you go shopping. 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 you have food that comes from long distances, it is most likely being sea-freighted, flown, or driven from its point of origin to where you buy it from. Each time food is transported across locations, carbon footprints are generated. These footprints originate from the CO2 produced by the transportation used. In essence, the further food has to travel across locations, the more pollution the entire process creates. Keeping this fact in mind, you know how significant food miles are and why they should be considered globally. People and organizations must make an effort to control them.
Consumer demand drives the transportation of food. There has been a decline in the demand for seasonal foods grown and produced locally because of the easy availability of staple foods grown all year round and transported from other countries. Keeping track of food miles is not an easy task. And yet, when consumers become aware of its importance, they know how necessary it is. When you take the time to understand food miles better as a consumer, you will not have to worry about achieving long-term change in your food-buying habits.
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. With the reduction of food miles, you can also expect a reduction in pollution and CO2 output. Thus, what is there that you can do to decrease food miles every time you do your regular shopping at grocery stores? When you are going to buy fresh produce, take the time to consider the country of origin. You will find this piece of information on every pack. You then think if buying the items from other countries is something that you need or if you can just get alternatives grown in your locality. Make sure that you can identify produce if it is seasonal or not. When you are well aware of these things, then you know which produce you can buy at certain times of the year, contributing to the overall reduction of food miles.