“Eating local” and using trusted supply chains has become an increasingly popular phenomenon than even a decade ago. While more people read the origin labels of the produce at grocery stores, many more are opting for farmers’ markets and “farm-to-table” meats and dairy products. Regardless, there tends to be a disconnect on what the purpose of eating locally really is and why we should even count the food miles?
What does eating local really mean?
There’s no formal definition of the term local food nor any decent control on how much of the food local stores sell should be locally sourced. One common definition of local food is food grown within 100 miles of its point of sale or consumption. Farmlyplace has taken steps to measure this paradigm and give it a real test. Is the food we purchase and believe to be locally sourced actually meet the definition of local?
Why should we care?
There are many reasons why consumers should care about the food they eat – because we are what we eat. Our overall health can be compromised by ingesting products that have traveled over large distances and been treated with preservatives and pesticides to extend their life. Not knowing what regulations and protocols exist (or don’t exist) in the exporting countries that may not be up to the same standards as our own.
The environmental impact, CO2 production etc., is hugely minimized when tracking the food miles (the distance traveled, or fuel used in order to transport food from its point of production to when it reaches the consumer) of a product.
It’s difficult for consumers to shift their mindset to be more aware of where their food is coming from, or how that translates into food miles. Many food industries and major supermarkets work on a global scale, so the idea of keeping food local and calculating food miles isn’t necessarily on their radars when they can get oranges shipped from Florida within a matter of days.
Why is all of this a good idea for the future?
Due to the current economic crisis and pandemic that has profoundly changed the world, there’s no better time than now to take a real hard look at the food miles behind the supplies. As borders close and guidelines become stricter, we may become more dependent on our local food producers than we have in decades. If we can become more aware of who touches our food before it reaches our plate in an effort to prevent ourselves from sickness, perhaps it can evolve as a new norm for food products and control.
Farmlyplace works on a platform of open traceability and incentives for reduced food miles. The basis is FOOT tokens (food – open – origin – trust token) based on a distributed ledger design, and blockchain codes and algorithms. Learn more about whats behind FOOT tokens, or how to get involved, and reach out to a member of our team today.
Become a Local Scout and identify businesses in your area, local growers and places where local produce is part of the menu already.