What local foods are and why they are essential to our planet.
Climate change, peak water, peak oil, and more related issues have been given a multitude of attention – especially as their impact on our planet continues to rise. However, we can all reduce the effect of these problems just by straightforwardly eating locally grown food.
You may have heard the phrase ‘eat local’ being thrown about a lot when it comes to decreasing our carbon footprint through diets. After all, transport usually accounts for a portion of carbon emissions which can drastically affect our atmosphere.
The carbon impact must be considered when it comes to buying non-local foods. Food accounts for a considerable amount of a household’s carbon footprint, whilst production and transportation can also have a harmful effect. Furthermore, the mass production of non-local foods also usually involves using toxic chemicals. Fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides can harm our environment – not just by releasing pollutant gasses but also by destroying wildlife habitats.
What Are Local Foods?
Now that you know more about the harm of non-local foods, perhaps it’s time to define what locally grown foods are. These goods are produced within a small distance of where individuals consume them, typically accompanied by a supply chain and social structure which differs from the extensive-scale supermarket system.
Buying locally grown goods is so important in the journey of reducing our overall carbon footprint.
The Benefits of Local Foods
So, how can you benefit the planet from consuming locally grown foods? First, the most obvious thing to point out is that eating locally will shorten the distance that goods have to travel to reach your dinner table. This reduces the carbon emissions produced in the transportation process, creating a smaller carbon footprint.
However, we must consider that food miles and transportation do not inflict the most significant impact on our planet. With produced goods, you have to consider other factors that inflict damage upon our world, with transportation making up only a small amount of the emissions from food.
What you actually eat is incredibly crucial in this sustainability journey. After all, there are colossal differences in the greenhouse gas emissions of varying foods: for example, while peas produce only a tiny number of emissions, beef accounts for a more significant portion of emissions.
Beef, lamb, and cheese all emit alarming amounts of emissions; pork and poultry produce smaller amounts; whilst plant-based foods produce the least. Generally, animal-based foods have a much larger carbon footprint than plant-based foods, which has triggered many individuals to adopt a vegetarian or vegan diet.
For many of the foods mentioned above, most greenhouse gas emissions come from land-use change and farm stage processes. Farm stage emissions involve procedures like fertilizer application and enteric fermentation. For those unaware of this term, enteric fermentation refers to methane production in the stomachs of cattle; the release of this harmful gas is increasingly concerning in present times.
Therefore, it’s important to note that all processes within the supply chain after goods have left the farm account for emissions. Processing, transportation, retail, and packaging produce just a small share of emissions, meaning that you must also consider what kind of food you eat when you buy locally.
You need to understand that eating locally doesn’t just reduce your carbon footprint by reducing transportation – you must take other factors into account, such as the utilization of fertilizers, what type of food you eat, and individual farming practices.
Businesspeople and marketers can learn to take advantage of the good that eating local foods can do. Incorporating the slow food movement into a marketing campaign can help you transform your business from one which strives to look out for itself to one injected with a deeper meaning.
The most crucial thing to take away from this article is that you have the power to change our planet for the better. Buying locally grown goods is so important in the journey of reducing our overall carbon footprint. By doing this, you’ll be taking the planet one step closer to sustainability.