"Food miles" (or "food kilometres"!) are the distance food travels from the farm to your plate. The concept is used to underline how far many foods are transported through global trade and the costs of this transport, in economic, social, and environmental terms. When foods are transported long distances, they tend to lose taste and nutrient value because of the time and conditions in transit. Transport also consumes fuel and releases pollution. Freight transport is a key source of greenhouse gas emissions, which are a cause of global warming. Food kilometres for a particular product can be calculated by finding out all the locations a food is imported from along with how much comes from each location. With this information, along with the transport distance from each of those locations, you can calculate an average distance the product travels when it is imported. Combine this distance with information on greenhouse gas emissions (e.g., per tonne per kilometre) and you have a good idea of just what the pollution savings are if you eat locally!
There Are Many Good Reasons To Buy Locally Grown Food
You'll get exceptional taste and freshness.
Local food is fresher and tastes better than food shipped long distances from states or countries. Local farmers can offer produce varieties bred for taste and freshness rather than for shipping and long shelf life.
You'll protect the environment.
Local food doesn't have to travel far. This reduces carbon dioxide emissions and packing materials. Buying local food also helps to make farming more profitable and selling farmland for development less attractive.
You'll strengthen your local economy.
Buying local food keeps your dollars circulating in your community. Getting to know the farmers who grow your food builds relationships based on understanding and trust, the foundation of strong communities.
You'll safeguard your family's health.
Knowing where your food comes from and how it is grown or raised enables you to choose safe food from farmers who avoid or reduce their use of chemicals, pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, or genetically modified seed in their operations. Buy food from local farmers you trust.
You'll support endangered family farms.
There's never been a more critical time to support your farming neighbours. With each local food purchase, you ensure that more of your money spent on food goes to the farmer and less goes in the pockets of corporate retailers.
When you buy local food, you vote with your food dollar. This ensures that family farms in your community will continue to thrive and that healthy, flavourful, plentiful food will be available for future generations.
Buying local is this easy:
- Find a farmer, farmers' market, farm stand, or local food outlet near you.
- Shop at your local farmers' market or farm stand for the freshest, best tasting food available. It's easy to find local food.
- Encourage your local grocery stores and area restaurants to purchase more of their products from local farmers.
LifeCycles would like to help you find local resources. Visit the Good Food Directory on this website. It can be searched by your location, by product, or by type of resource (i.e., farmers' markets, box programs, etc.).
Good Food - Close to Home!