Should we be importing food from abroad? With the demands of luxury in western society, international imports have been increasing in the UK. This is contributing greatly to global warming through greenhouse gas emissions: chemicals for fertilizing, planes, trains, ships and Lorries for transporting, etc. And with the world’s resources slowly running out, there is increasing conflict over the increased choice of foods we enjoy and how sustainable our agricultural system is. So what side are you going to take over food imports from overseas, especially with exporting countries developing?
Over 95% of all of the UK’s food are cheap imports from overseas. Like vegetables and fruit from North Africa and the Mediterranean, beef from South America and wheat from Eastern Europe. This means that for large food companies UK farming is becoming less and less significant in overall sales. They might even be wiped out of the picture. Consequently, countries’ cultures will slowly deteriorate. With people being able to access things from all over the world, what makes a country’s menu exciting probably won’t be that special if you can just phone down the road to get a taste of Asia with your Saturday korma. However, this is not the greatest impact due to importing food on an international scale.
“Food miles”, the mileage an item of food has travelled to the consumer’s plate, is a good way to measure, as such, the amount of environmental impact that piece of food has. So if you include the shipping, the trucks that took the food to the ship, the trucks that took the food from the ship to the shops add it all up and that’s a whole lot of petrol. Even our car travelling to the supermarket counts. Obviously, this affects our atmosphere significantly through greenhouse gases and CO2 emissions. But this is just from, I don’t know, one shipping of bananas. This is happening hundreds of times a week, shipping in tonnes of pre-packed, pre-sliced, pre-processed food. The average...
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