The Importance of Local Food
Most of the foods that we get in the supermarket was produced hundreds, sometimes thousands of miles away from where it is consumed, requiring significant energy consumption for handling, and storage during its journey to the supermarket aisles. In addition, a large amount of food is wasted during its journey to our community food stores.
According to a recent study published in the Public Library of Science , 40% of food is wasted in the U.S. That figure measures waste occurring throughout the entire food system from the farm to what ends up thrown away as plate scrapings at home. And because the US recycles less than 3% of food waste, most of ends up in landfills where it decomposes anaerobically, emitting methane and other greenhouse gases and contributing to climate change.
The lack of fresh, local food production also significantly impacts our diet and health. We tend to eat what is available – highly processed food that can handle long distance travel and has a long shelf life. We are what we eat, and the obesity epidemic is one of the most visible and obvious indications, with a significant negative health impact.