Nowadays, food items and goods are all easily accessible. Vast improvements in food preservation, transportation, and food production have helped the world in many ways. However, many people don’t consider the environmental impact of the modern food industry. Because you can now buy food imported from foreign countries, carbon emissions from vehicles which use non-renewable energy are emitted in massive quantities. In fact, the Journal of Industrial Ecology states, “Globally, food consumption accounts for 48% of household impacts on land resources and 70% of impacts on water resources.”
Transportation of goods is only one factor that goes into the total amount of waste and carbon emissions that come from the food industry. Mass production of beef and poultry causes significant damage to the environment in the form of methane emissions and deforestation, to name a couple.
So, what’s the solution? Eat locally and seasonally! Eating locally is within our control and has positive impacts on the environment. Buying food from local sources means that food doesn’t have to be transported over long distances. Buying local products also helps support small businesses and boosts the local economy. Local food is typically fresher, coming from nature to your plate in reduced time, and doesn’t require preservatives, which are potentially harmful for the body. The same thing goes for seasonal food; eating the fruits and vegetables that are in season takes away some of the strain on farms to grow food out of season which may lead to problems with water, land-usage, and strain on resources. Buying food that’s out of season also means that it’s likely being shipped in from someplace else, which creates a high carbon footprint. Lastly, buying food that is in season will be less expensive because of supply and demand. We are lucky to live in Park City where we have numerous local suppliers, from which to buy locally grown, fresh food. Try researching local suppliers in Park City and you will most definitely find what you’re looking for.
By Grayson Rae, Sophomore at Park City High School