Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Food miles

The BBC is currently highlighting the travel involved in our food and the resulting additional atmospheric carbon. There is the trip from abroad before it gets to the shops, and what we travel to buy it - up to 135 miles per adult per year. Waste food and packaging add to the problems. We are all struggling to find the real facts and effects, and an article by Hattie Ellis on www.bbc.co.uk/food puts as many questions as answers.

Ideas in The Free Lunch – Fairness with Freedom put the issue in another frame. The current planning laws are directly opposed to food production at the level of the household since the permitted new housing densities make this virtually impossible. At 40+ dwellings per hectare the resulting ‘gardens’ are minute. The owners will never be able to eat much food without a lot of travel having been involved.

We need planning law options that allow houses to have a good sized, unshaded food-growing plot. Food grown at home is not only low cost and wholesome but reduces waste food, travel costs, fuel consumption and carbon emissions; it also eliminates the need for packaging and its disposal. The use of geo-thermal heat for a house on such a plot would be more cost effective if also used to heat a poly-tunnel for growing food over a longer season.

The Free Lunch is a book for anyone who wants to increase choice for ordinary people. It addresses other issues that need to be considered along with such topics of the day as food miles.

www.the-free-lunch.com , or www.amazon.co.uk , or order from your local bookshop

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