Our food is more travelled than we are

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An article in The Age last week talks about the distance your food travels before arriving on your plate.

Here are the key facts about food transporation in Australia:

Every year more than 167.3 million tonnes of food is transported around the country, totalling 2.5 billion kilometres. About 85 per cent of this is by road. And road transport accounts for 13 per cent of Australia's greenhouse gas emissions.

In other countries the facts are similar, if not worse. Why, You ask? Because the big supermarkets have trained us to believe that we need access to every fruit and vegetable 365 days a year. And we've become used to it.

Locally sourced food is better for the local economy and the environment. We don't want all-the-food, all-the-time so badly that we need to source our carrots from over 3,000 kms away. We really don't. I'm old enough to remember a time when you could only buy fruit and vegetables locally. No problem – You just bought the stuff that was in season. In fact mandarin season was another of life's pleasures to look forward to.

A locally sourced food delivery business could be a great idea. You would only source from local producers from within a radius of, say, 50 km. And you only would deliver fruit and vegetables that were in season. The way it used to be. The way it was meant to be. Fresher, better tasting food that is more environmentally friendly. That supports local farmers. Without the excessive packaging. Delivered by bike or hybrid car. To your door.

This sort of service creates a story worth telling. What would you prefer to tell your friends? That you buy your tasteless tomatoes from Tesco? Or that you pay a little extra to buy fruit and vegies that taste the way they're supposed to.

Rising fuel prices will make food transportation less and less viable. I'm optimistic that far travelled food will soon be a thing of the past. In the meantime, who wants to come and work with me?

(Thanks to Treehugger for the link)

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