Feb 26 2002 ~ Imported food entails pollution and traffic congestion. In a few years there will be a shortage of oil and the whole oil-based system will eventually collapse....a German study of strawberry yoghurt found that a truckload of 150 gram yoghurts would travel 1,005 kilometres. 'The strawberries came from Poland, yoghurt from north Germany, corn and wheat flour from the Netherlands, jam from West Germany and sugar beet from East Germany. The aluminium for use on the cover came 300 km. Only the milk and glass jar were local to Stuttgart, where theoretically the yoghurt "came from".' ... Typical ingredients in a family meal may have travelled thousands of miles before reaching the plate. ... Ironically, organic produce can, in this respect, be just as environmentally damaging as the conventional equivalent, given that as much as 70% of the organic market is imported. Needless to say, the carbon dioxide emissions associated with so many 'food miles' contribute to the accumulation of gases that is supposed to be causing global climate change. In turn, climate change is likely to affect the world's capacity to produce food...If the vogue for farm shops and farmers markets catches on, consumers could force supermarkets to source more food regionally, with proper labelling and promotion. If not, it may be good-bye to the British farmer, much as Southern England is saying good-bye to the frog."
This is part of an important article by Clive Aslet which appeared in the Financial Times on Feb 23 2002