Why is local and organic food important?

Most of the food we buy in the UK has been trans­por­ted from far away — some­times flown in from the oth­er side of the world. The car­bon emis­sions that often res­ult from these ‘food miles’ are one way in which we are adding to cli­mate change. In addi­tion, much of our food is now pro­duced using intens­ive farm­ing meth­ods, which have high car­bon emis­sions and oth­er envir­on­ment­al impacts, such as pol­lu­tion from chem­ic­al fer­til­izers and pesti­cides, asso­ci­ated with them. In con­trast, food pro­duced organ­ic­ally helps lock car­bon into the soil and doesn’t use chem­ic­als.

Food that has been trans­por­ted from far away will also get more expens­ive as oil sup­plies dwindle, adding to the cost of everyone’s weekly shop. And buy­ing food from abroad doesn’t sup­port the loc­al eco­nomy to the same extent as buy­ing food that has been pro­duced closer to home.

To change this we need to start get­ting as much of our food as pos­sible from as nearby as pos­sible, and increase the pro­por­tion that is pro­duced organ­ic­ally.

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