Can you imagine if food items were clearly labelled to show how many food miles they had clocked up during their travel from source to supermarket shelf?
To meet the ever-increasing dietary demands, food is shipped round the clock, around the world, putting pressure on our natural ecosystems and increasing greenhouse emissions by the transportation and agricultural methods used.
If food miles were labelled clearly, it would help paint the true carbon footprint picture of the products we purchase and could also help aid our decision making when buying.
Take apples for example:
If the label said 92 miles/150km; would you choose apples locally grown or ones that have travelled from the USA, a journey of 10,133 miles/ 16307 km?
Approximately 76% of apples consumed in the UK are from overseas. Even during the height of the British season apple season, the majority on sale will be imported, mostly from outside the EU.
Shocking fact: Over the last 30 years, 60% of the UK’s apple orchards have been destroyed.
What are we doing?
It might not say on the label, but generally, supermarkets display the country of origin on the signage next to the price of the product. If you can buy local and Organic even better, but just start with acknowledging how travel tiered your trolley is & then decided!
Change: It starts with you. You have the power to make a conscious choice & have a positive impact. Don’t focus on the buy one get one free, 20 % extra offers. This is an environmental false economy.
Here is a great resource for learning more about this subject and calculating the miles: Calculate your food miles here!