Food Miles

During discussions on sustainability, most often something which gets ignored is the one thing which humans cannot live without; food. So how far does your food travel
before it hits the shelves?

The Australian Food Industry has shown elements of sustainability and over recent years has made significant steps in eradicating out-of-season energy waste. Yet Australia still manages to import record amounts of food. This leads to what experts are calling food miles.

Food miles is a term used to describe the distance travelled by food products between production and consumption. Greater awareness of the term is hoped to open discussion about the sustainability of our local food industries, and the importance of supporting local food production.

Staggeringly, a recent Centre for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies (CERES) report has indicated that in a typical supermarket basket of food, items may have travelled over 70,000 kms… or around the world twice.

Taking into account road transport alone, it is upwards of 20,000 kms, or almost the whole way around Australia’s coastline. The greenhouse emissions for the transport trucks which carry these items daily are roughly the same as what 2,800 cars would emit in a whole year. And that is just one basket.

But how far the food travels is just a small part of the process. Refrigeration, packaging , etc contribute to greenhouse gas and carbon emissions.

It is now more essential than ever to consider buying Australian, because the cost of the reverse is sullying our country for future generations.

Do you want to know how far your household shopping products have travelled? Calculate it at

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