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Brain Food: Food Miles January 21, 2010

Filed under: Food Definitions — Natalie Aldern @ 10:09 am
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Food Miles: The term food miles refers to the distance that food travels before it gets to your table. It is used in calculating the carbon footprint of not only what we eat, but also where it originates. For instance, an apple grown in Yakima, Washington, and sold in New York City travels roughly 2,700 food miles.
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Why it matters:A lot of fuel goes into the food we eat. It takes energy to grow the crops, but it also takes a lot of oil to transport them from the field to your table. Is it really better for the to buy organic produce that was grown 3000 miles away? The environmental cost of the distance food travels is something to consider when making your purchasing decisions.

What to look for:Most stores will indicate where the produce was grown. Food miles are not the be all and end all of making informed choices, in fact some people believe that they can be rather misleading. That being said, look for food that is grown as close to your home as possible, by growers who practice sustainable farming. Proximity of growth is important, but many other factors influence how much fuel is used to produce your food.

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