The first widely adopted “solution” to sustainability is often to buy local. However looking a little deeper, it becomes apparent that this is not always the panacea that it first appears to be. This article details the GHG emissions from food across various stages of the supply chain. It highlights that eating locally would only have a significant impact if transport was responsible for a large share of food’s final carbon footprint, however for most foods, this is not the case. GHG emissions from transportation make up a very small amount of the emissions from food meaning what you eat is far more important than where your food comes from. This is not to say that local is not good, simply that it is not always good. In time, local becomes more about the taste of place and supporting culture and heritage, than it is about managing environmental sustainability. As with so many sustainabilty issues, looking at one in isolation doesn’t provide the full picture.
Reduce the carbon footprint of your food? Focus on what you eat, not whether your food is local
Feb 10, 2020