Food systems in the aggregate, including agriculture (plants and animals), transportation, processing, refrigeration and the like, account for about a third of our global carbon emissions contributing to climate change. The amount of food we shift around the world amounts to somewhere between 1500-1800 miles per plate, per person, per day in the US. A quick check of the grocery store shelves can reveal how far some of our food has traveled. Reducing demand for that transportation load on the climate is a positive step. Moreover, local produce is picked later, so it has more nutrients and more taste. It may have fewer contaminants because it has not been handled as much, and it has a direct positive impact on the local economy leading to greater food security. What’s not to like?
What we can do:
- Check the origin labels on packaged fresh food. Favor more local sourcing.
- Frequent our local farmers’ markets.
- If possible, plan menus around seasonal foods.