Food Miles

Buying locally grown food and products helps support community members and farmers and has been a topic of interest for the duration of this course. Another benefit of buying local groceries is the diminishment of “food miles” or the distance and carbon footprint that the shipping of international good leaves on the environment. According to an article posted by Food-Hub, “how far your food travels has serious consequences for your health and the climate” (2007) and “how your food is grown, stored, transported, processed, and cooked can all influence how it impacts climate change and the environment”. The distance that the food is traveling is not the only issue that underlies the topic of environmental impact, as the way in which these items are being shipped also leaves greater or lesser impacts on pollution.
            Food transported by airplane sends out far greater emissions of greenhouse gases than imports transported by ships. The article states that emissions and pollution is another reason why buying locally is the better choice – although there are some exceptions with locally grown products, the article notes that if you were to bundle all of the locally grown products in a community they would still have used and emitted far less carbon dioxide than any other one imported item. High pollution from food imports results in higher numbers of asthma and respiratory cases than if we cut back and buy local as recorded by this article.
            From our class textbook Gardner (2006) has written a chapter on “Changing One’s Own Mind” which I feel heavily relates to this topic. Buying local is a personal choice that needs to be decided on an individual level, so changing our own mind to purchase from local farmers and individuals needs to be the first step in the transition from imports to locality. Gardner states that “whatever the cause or prompt, we must ultimately be in charge of our own mind changing” and that “changes of mind are probably the most dramatic in realms that mean the most to people” (179). The benefits of buying local over imported foods are crucial to bring to the topics of interests during educational debates. The positives and negatives need to be discussed so that individual’s may understand personal effects and come to their own conclusions. Once an individual has made their own choice about buying local it will be easier to persuade them to continue their behavior change and leave impressions on those around them as well.

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For more information and facts about this web page please visit:
 Gardner, H. (2006). Changing Minds. Boston: MA., Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data.