Tahukah Anda

Food miles: the most useless way to measure the impact of food

Here are the facts:
📦 Transport only causes 4.8% of all greenhouse gases from food
🚚 Most of those emissions happen during local/regional road transport
🚢 Shipping covers the largest distances but only causes 0.17% of all food emissions

➡️ Paying attention to where your food comes from doesn’t reduce the carbon footprint.

Here’s a good rule of thumb: think of how much space was necessary to grow that food, not how far it had to travel.

🥥 Coconut milk: one palm tree → low impact
🥩 Beef: fields of grass (and maybe even corn) to feed a cow → high impact

So if your plant-based recipe includes coconut milk from across the world, that’s okay.

People don’t like hearing this…

There are still benefits for promoting a *local food system*:
– more transparency
– more connection to our food and landscape
– more local crops and higher biodiversity

But once you enter the supermarket, you’re already part of the global food system. In that context, paying attention to food miles is useless.

I think this is good news, because it makes sustainable food choices simpler: make animal foods a luxury and don’t worry so much about all the other stuff.

What do you think? And what does it make you feel? 😉

@forkrangerFood miles: the most useless way to measure the impact of food. There, I said it. 🙊 Here are the facts: 📦 Transport only causes 4.8% of all greenhouse gases from food 🚚 Most of those emissions happen during local/regional road transport 🚢 Shipping covers the largest distances but only causes 0.17% of all food emissions ➡️ Paying attention to where your food comes from doesn’t reduce the carbon footprint. Here’s a good rule of thumb: think of how much space was necessary to grow that food, not how far it had to travel. 🥥 Coconut milk: one palm tree → low impact 🥩 Beef: fields of grass (and maybe even corn) to feed a cow → high impact So if your plant-based recipe includes coconut milk from across the world, that’s okay. People don’t like hearing this… There are still benefits for promoting a *local food system*: – more transparency – more connection to our food and landscape – more local crops and higher biodiversity But once you enter the supermarket, you’re already part of the global food system. In that context, paying attention to food miles is useless. I think this is good news, because it makes sustainable food choices simpler: make animal foods a luxury and don’t worry so much about all the other stuff. What do you think? And what does it make you feel? 😉 Sources: Crippa, M., Solazzo, E., Guizzardi, D., Monforti-Ferrario, F., Tubiello, F. N., & Leip, A. J. N. F. (2021). Food systems are responsible for a third of global anthropogenic GHG emissions. Nature Food, 2(3), 198-209. Hannah Ritchie (2020) – “Very little of global food is transported by air; this greatly reduces the climate benefits of eating local” Published online on Our World In Data

♬ original sound – Fork Ranger

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