About This Live Project v.2.1

The Sheffield Food Network is an organisation that promotes and celebrates the growing, sourcing and eating of local food in Sheffield. It serves the people of Sheffield though an online interface, as an online guide to everything and anything to do with sustainable food in Sheffield.

Firstly the Sheffield Food Network links sustainable food outlets, producers and restaurants to the people of Sheffield, but aims to extend this relationship by sharing ideas about growing fruit and vegetables, butchery, baking, local recipes, how to forage for wild food, and much more.

The Sheffield Food Network continues the exchange of information started by Grow Sheffield and Abundance Sheffield with the overall long term aim of creating an open social network, connecting people who have an interest in sharing Sheffield’s sustainable food resources. 

If you have arrived here on a recommendation or through personal interest, we invite you to contribute to the ongoing discussions.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

On the subject of Food Miles...

‘Food Miles’ versus the ‘Place-based Food System’
From the desk of Jac Smit:

“Transporting food and agriculture inputs by plane, train, truck and ship is a driving force towards global warming and climate change. Air shipping consumes ten to twenty times as many petroleum calories as the food calories it puts on the retailers shelf. Moving food by truck [the most common] utilizes five to ten times as much as shipping by train and train miles consume two to four times as much energy per mile as sea transport [consider refridgerated].

Overall, as a generalization, global agri-business consumes over ten calories of petroleum and coal energy to deliver a calorie of food to your dinner plate. This is the global warming cost of so-called “food miles”. These food miles impact some climate zones more intensely than others.

As with de-forestation, the post WW II lower density of more rapid urbanization is considerably expanding food miles and its negative impact on the environment in which we live.

A viable and fairly common definition of urban agriculture is that which is within “same day delivery”. Same day delivery can put a calorie of food on the retail shelf for between one and four calories of transportation calories.

A simplification of the ‘Place-based’ food system ‘Farm to Market’ can be stated as:

1. Harvest [or slaughter]
2. Chill [or process]
3. Load truck [or train]
4. Deliver

All four within 24 hours. This process is a four to five times reduction, from the global agri-business industry, in terms of global warming and climate change.”

A study conducted in the UK published in Food Policy estimates that if all of the UK’s food were to be sourced within 12 miles of homes or other places of consumption, the avoided environmental/associated costs would amount to £2.1 Billion

Pretty J., Ball A., Lang T., Morison J., 2005: Farm Costs and Food miles: An Assessment of the Full Cost of the UK
Weekly Food Basket. Food Policy, Volume 30, Issue 1, February 2005, Pages 1-19

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