Food Miles!

This amazed me, what about you?

The WAG Sustainability Group has been promoting action to limit the use of single-use plastics as well as highlighting the damage meat production causes to the environment (see www.willinghamlife.org). Now we hope you might join us with our most recent project but we don’t expect you to make great changes; if everyone cuts down their use of plastics, meat eating and food air miles by just changing one thing a week that would be wonderful. The information below was gained when I visited a large local supermarket at the end of October.
Consider these two menus.
Meal 1
Starter: asparagus with Parma ham.
Main: chicken from a local supermarket with gravy, green beans, baby sweetcorn and broccoli.
Sweet: raspberries and cream.
Meal 2
Starter: homemade cauliflower and Stilton soup.
Main: chicken from a local farm shop with gravy and red cabbage shredded and cooked until tender with some oven-cooked carrots and parsnips.
Sweet: apple crumble and custard.
On my visit to a large local supermarket I found the places these items came from are;
Meal 1
Asparagus (Peru 6400 miles), Parma ham (Italy 1115), chicken (Lincolnshire 100), green beans (Guatemala 5500), baby sweetcorn (India 4500), broccoli (Kenya 4300), raspberries (Portugal 1450).
The total distance travelled by these ingredients is 23,365 miles.
Meal 2
Cauliflower (East Anglia 35), Stilton (Cambridgeshire 70), chicken (Cambridgeshire 10), red cabbage (Hertfordshire 60), carrots (East Anglia 35), parsnips (East Anglia 35), apples (Kent 125).
Total distance travelled by these ingredients is 367 miles.
 Some details will have changed – but not the message. Checking where food comes from and buying locally saves on the greenhouse gas emissions from travel. The food will also be fresher, not frozen in transportation and so will last longer at home, and supports the local economy. However, it’s not always that simple as we need to maintain a balanced diet with plenty of fruit in the winter. Also a chocolate digestive biscuit made in the UK may have twenty different ingredients with some coming from as far away as New Zealand! It’s also less damaging to the environment to bring tomatoes here from Spain than to grow them here in heated greenhouses. Have a look at https://www.foodsecurity.ac.uk/challenge/your-food-is-global/ .
If you want to contact us about anything we are doing you can do so via www.willinghamlife.org or through willinghamsustainability@gmail.com . In the meantime please keep BUYING LOCAL!