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All of us love food. But do you know from where does food get to you? Some food we eat is grown closer to us and some other food stuffs travel from other countries too to get to us!

We require food for not just survival but also because food rings in joy and happy times.

Do you know what food miles are?

Food miles are a unit of measurement of the fuel that is used to transport a food item from the producer to the consumer. Simply put food miles is defined as the distance food travels as it gets transported from the time it’s produced to the time it reaches us for consumption. So it’s basically talking about the journey of food and the distance covered!

Professor Tim Lang (United Kingdom) had conceived the concept of food miles.

Why food miles are important?

To understand this you need to understand what “Carbon footprints” are.

Carbon Footprints: It is the amount of carbon-di-oxide that’s released in to the atmosphere, through the actions of any person or organization.

We need oxygen to live and survive. So it’s really vital to keep carbon-di-oxide levels as low as possible. This really means, we need to keep our carbon footprints down. To reduce the carbon footprints, you need to work at reducing your food miles.

How and why should we reduce our food miles?

We need to work at reducing our food miles for the simple reason that as food gets transported long distances, it uses up huge amounts of fuel and that’s not great news for Mamma Earth! And the bonus being as you reduce food miles you’ll end up buying and eating fresh food.

And here’s how it’s done

- Eat seasonal foods

- Buy fruits and vegetables from a farmer’s market that’s close to you and help farmers

- Carry a small world map with you, when you’re out grocery shopping and pick out those packages that come from places closest to you

- Use public transport/car pool as you head to the grocery store

- Grow your own vegetables, it’s fun

Is the concept of food miles criticized?

Some people criticize the concept of food miles because

- It is considered to be an incomplete way of determining impact of food on the earth’s environment.

- Factors besides food miles contribute to greenhouse gas emissions too

- Farmers get to improve their lives and income by selling through exports

So what you want to eat and from where you get it depends on you, but in the process do try to work at saving Mamma Earth too, after all she’s just the one we have!

First published in The Knowledgeable Kid, Facebook page for Kids

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