There are benefits and disadvantages to localized food movements, however, as The Good Food Girl mentions, localized food is holistic, strengthens a community, and creates an access to fresh food when there may have been a prior food desert, especially in urban areas.
Last week, at the lunch series on Global Food Security that I organized as part of the Oxford Global Food Security Forum, the presenter was Julian Cottee, one of the cofounders of Cultivate Oxfordshire, a local food cooperative and social enterprise. He talked about eating local and left us with a couple of interesting points.
Source: Cultivate Oxfordshire (http://cultivateoxford.org/2013/food-from-distant-shores?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=food-from-distant-shores)
He pointed out that eating local isn’t always the unambiguous choice it’s made out to be.
First of all, as you can see from the piechart above, “food miles” or the distance a food has traveled is a bit overhyped — food production (green colors) contributes much more to greenhouse gas(GHG) emissions than does any sort of transportation (red colors). Interestingly, air freight does not seem to contribute much at all, especially compared with road or sea transport.
Because of this, those local UK tomatoes you’re eating in February…
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