Food miles – the economic, environmental and social significance of the focus on local food

David Oglethorpe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Local food has received much attention in recent years not only through academic study but also through media-driven initiatives to promote more sustainable food systems. Whether these initiatives are correct in assuming that local food will drive more sustainable consumption and production, however, is moot. This review examines the literature relating to local food and reveals some mixed messages. In particular, in relation to our pre-conceived notions about local food providing a more 'wholesome' means of supply, messages relating to food miles and production simplicity may be misleading. The food miles issue, when taken literally in terms of transport efficiency, appears perverse as does environmental impacts connected with simpler processing and packaging of local food. However, there are counterbalancing economic and social welfare gains that may be attributable to local food that are less emblematic but just as relevant.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
JournalCAB Reviews: Perspectives in Agriculture, Veterinary Science, Nutrition and Natural Resources
Volume4
Issue number72
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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