More About Food Miles
Some Fun facts about our Food Miles Calculator*
In total the tool has been used 3300146 times.
Total distance calculated by the tool*: 12,587,594,875 miles.
That is approximately:
505932 times around the earth!
16,372.91 times to the moon and back!
100% of the way to the sun(done).
100% of the way to Jupiter! (done).
100% of the way to Saturn! (done).
100% of the way to Uranus! (done).
100% of the way to Neptune! (done).
100% of the way to Pluto! (done).
0.05% of the way to Alpha Centauri!
The average distance calculated is: 4170 miles
Food Miles Calculator Tag Cloud
This shows the most "tracked" items using the food miles calculator!
Food Mile Considerations
Now that you have used our Food Miles Calculator you have a rough idea of how far the food has come to get to you.
This isn't however the whole story, there are many other factors to consider when you work out the environmental impact of your food.
Remember, because our tool can only track items from capital to capital it doesn't give the whole story.
Country Of Origin
In the country of origin there a lot of things to consider, things like:
- What products or treatments have been used to treat or grow the item? This would include any feeds etc for livestock and fertilisers for fruits and vegetables
- Has the item been picked and shipped around prior to leaving the country?
- How has the item been packaged and packed?
This has been highlighted in a fairly recent study by the Lincoln University in New Zealand where they proved that the overall environmental impact of NZ lamb was less than that of Welsh - including importing it to the UK. Report (PDF)
Food miles can be added to a product when it is in the final destination country. These include any internal movement of stock between distribution centres and supermarkets, travel to and from the point of purchase and even disposal of waste from the product!
Grow Your Own
An obvious answer to the food miles debate is of course to grow your own and keep the food mileage down to about 50ft! This isn't obviously the answer for all things as we don't all have a few acres spare to graze sheep etc.
Growing your own does have the added advantage of allowing you to track exactly what chemicals if any are used. Good for the planet and good for you.
The point here is that food miles are a very complicated thing, so the tool we have put together for you is only one part of the story. It can give a good indication of the miles your food has travelled to reach you and the carbon produced as a result.
In general, local food - that is locally produced and sold - is best, so buying this would normally be the safer option!
* since 17/03/09
This is not the full list - we have more, lesser tracked items here: Full Food Miles List