How many km does food travel until it sits on my plate?

Today I take the liberty to copy a Ladyverd article, because it seems very relevant in the logic of honesty and sustainability of our planet.

And also because this is my philosophy. It’s what I apply to the bakery. At the moment I can not have local sugar, coconut or chocolate. However, following the principles of Slow Food most of my suppliers are less than 250 km away from Barcelona. This includes almonds and hazelnuts, olive oil, olives, wheat flour, herbs, fruit and vegetables …

Source: (original in Spanish)

DESPITE INCREASED DEMAND FOR ORGANIC PRODUCTS IN EUROPE, agricultural land over to organic farming does not grow at the same pace. ORGANIC PRODUCTS SET FORTH IN THE TRADE OF ALMOST ALL EUROPEAN COUNTRIES ARE IMPORTED. This contradicts THE PRINCIPLES OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AS, ALTHOUGH THE IMPORT AND MARKETING OF THESE PRODUCTS FOMENTA organic production in many countries, the environmental impact of products increases considerably kilometers DUE TO WALKING TO BE MARKETED.

The debate on the environmental impact of kilometers traveled by organic food began in Europe when the British environmental organization and certifying greater, Soil Association, explored the possibility of denying the organic certification to products that have reached the market via air transport.

Since then, the concept of ‘food kilometers’ (food miles) has been gaining impotance among European consumers, especially in Anglo-Saxon countries. The term refers to the distance traveled by food from the place in which it is produced until it reaches the consumer. Food kilometers of a product’s environmental impact express the same in grams or kilograms of CO2 generated by air, sea or road transport. This calculation is relatively simple when it comes to fruits and vegetables and more complicated in the case of processed products. In 1993, a German laboratory conducted a study which showed that the production of a simple strawberry yogurt entailed 9,115 kilometers. In the calculation it took into account all the logistics involved in the manufacture of plastic packaging, aluminum cap and the paper label, milk, lactic ferments, jam and distribution.

Whether organic or not, the transport of products always generates a significant negative carbon footprint. If fruits and vegetables according to the “food kilometers” are analyzed, so you can check sencillab gravity in terms of ecology that involves the purchase of any fruit out of season which were created across the world. To make an estimate of the “food kilometers” of a product is necessary to know that the air transport emits between 570 and 1,580 grams of CO2 per ton kilometer, 30 grams / ton / km of rail transport.

On the Internet there are many sites that offer calculation tools to determine the environmental impact of an imported product: The British portal “Organic Linker” provides a simple calculator away and an estimate of CO2 emissions per trip regardless of the individual weight of the products tested. Knowing the distance traveled by a food, the Canadian portal “Falls Brook Centre” can find out your calculator using the product’s environmental impact accurately.

If a conscious and responsible consumer takes a moment to analyze the business strategy of the large retail chains, whose abundant supply includes many organic products, you will realize the importance of a responsible purchasing based on seasonal produce and, whenever possible, local. It is in this context that consumer cooperatives gain importance.

This type of local shops is ideal as it promotes local agriculture by supporting farmers in the area and significantly reduces the environmental impact of the shopping cart. The international organization “Slow Food” has created its “kilometer 0”, aimed esfavorecer consumption of local, regional or even regional products and encourage small producers selling direct to the consumer, restaurants and canteens.

Source Organic Linker

Falls Brook Centre

Slow Food

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