Local food ‘greener than organic’
Organic apples, BBC
Food should come from within your area, the report says
Local food is usually more “green” than organic food, according to a report published in the journal Food Policy.
The authors say organic farming is also valuable, but people can help the environment even more by buying food from within a 20km (12-mile) radius.
The team calculated a shopping basket’s hidden costs, which mount up as produce is transported over big distances. The study found “road miles” account for proportionately more environmental damage than “air miles”.
Therefore, the researchers’ message to consumers is this: it is not good enough to buy food from within the UK – it is better if it comes from within your area, too.
A big city like London could be provided with a lot more seasonal vegetables from local farms
Co-author Professor Tim Lang
However, they admit that consumers are prevented from “doing the right thing” because of inadequate labelling.
“The most political act we do on a daily basis is to eat, as our actions affect farms, landscapes and food businesses,” said co-author Professor Jules Pretty, from the University of Essex, UK.
“Food miles are more significant than we previously thought, and much now needs to be done to encourage local production and consumption of food.”