As the connection between technology and our world becomes stronger, people become increasingly removed from their food sources by both distance and processing. This idea is centered around the issue of control. In today’s world, inequalities exist amongst voting power and control. There are apparent concrete benefits of eating local food, that food activist, Herb Barbolet addresses in a Worldwatch Institute article. With more control over their own area, communities can feel the full effect of the advantages of local food. These benefits are listed below:
- Decreased fossil fuel emissions: With the global food movement, it causes more greenhouse gas emissions and more energy is used. Shorter distance → Less transportation → Less fossil fuel emissions.
- Less road congestion from food transportation: Average food items currently travel between 1500 and 2500 miles. This is 25 percent farther than in 1980. By eating local, less trucks are on the road transporting food.
- Preservation of local farmland and conservation of local farmers: By catering to local needs, farmers are less likely to go out of business. In addition to providing to a national level, more revenue is brought in to the businesses when they supply to a local level.
- Superior flavors: Studies show evidence that market produce is consistently chosen over long-distance fare by both residential people and professional chefs, as a result of the high quality of local food.
- Reduced food safety risks: This benefit is not as apparent; however, thousands of miles and multiple hands causes a larger risk of food contamination. Longer transportation time can lead to increased vulnerability of food items.
Back to the control aspect…when residents have control of their local food production, many choices can be made. People can debate issues of land use, and they can decide what pollutants may have a chance of entering the water. By narrowing their focus, communities are able to hone in on what they actually have control over and benefit through their own choices.