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Energy in food production

Should we aim to reduce food miles?

Most food miles are travelled by road or air rather than by the more energy efficient methods of rail or sea. But the distance food travels and the method of transport used is only part of the environmental impact of food.

Up to 80% of the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere during the creation of our food is not related to transport.

This is because, as well as transporting food, energy is used to buy and plant seeds, fertilise and harvest crops, feed and water animals, and process and package food products.

Should we eat local food?


Most of the energy used
in food production is not
related to transport so
food miles are not an
accurate way to measure
the environmental
impact of food.