Knowledge for better food systems

Fair Miles: Recharting the Food Miles Map

A new book by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) warns that western concern over climate change can do more harm than good if it cuts demand for food produced in developing nations.
A new book by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) warns that western concern over climate change can do more harm than good if it cuts demand for food produced in developing nations. The book is written by Kelly Rai Chi, James MacGregor and Richard King. As they argue, today's food is well travelled. A pack of green beans in a Northern supermarket may have journeyed 6000 miles, or 60. But while food miles loom large in our carbon-aware times, transporting it counts for less than you might think. And there is a far bigger picture. Food is more than a plateful of emissions. It's a social, political and economic issue that involves millions of small farmers in poor countries who export produce to the North. They have built lives and livelihoods around this trade. By buying what they grow, you've clocked up "fair miles". The book, which can be downloaded, delves into the realities of the produce trade between Africa and the UK, examining both sides of the equation in search of a diet that is ethically, as well as nutritionally, balanced.
 

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