Highest Quality, Lowest Food Miles – What are ‘food miles’ & why care?
Our goal at The Garden Basket is to provide fresh, high quality, in season produce. Passionate about friendly customer service and flavoursome fruit and vegetables we aim to create positive in-store experiences for our shoppers and efficient call to action for our wholesale customers. We are proud to be the chef’s choice for specialised seasonal lines with our unparalleled delivery services, but the element of our business that really rocks our boat is our opportunity to 1. reduce the impact of our business on the environment through low ‘food miles’ and 2. support the sustainability of our local food systems for the future.
At The Garden Basket we run off an old school ethos, ‘local is better’ and it is our mantra. Our buying criteria targets ‘low food miles’ and quality over bottom line price led decisions. We want competitively priced, farm to shop, healthy produce for our shoppers that supports local and regional farming industries to secure food systems for the generations to come.
The global food system allows millions of people to have access to foods from all over the world removing restrictions on what recipe ingredients anyone, anywhere might need due to local and seasonal choices. However, the longer food travels the more the nutritional quality of the food diminishes, the less control there is on health safety controls and negative environmental effects are increased.
What are low food miles?
‘Food miles’ are one indicator when assessing the environmental impact of foods. The term ‘food miles’ refers to how far food has travelled from the paddock to the plate. As a general rule of thumb, for the same product, the lower the food miles, the less distance it has travelled and the better the choice is for the environment and for your health. This is particularly relevant in choosing local grown fresh fruit and vegetables over produce that has travelled many miles in refrigeration.
Did you know?
* The transport of food over longer distances releases more greenhouse gas emissions than buying locally sourced foods. Foods that have been stored and transported large distances are likely to be nutritionally inferior to these local foods.
* A typical Australian food basket has travelled an estimated 70,000 km – this is equivalent to travelling twice around the circumference of the Earth or travelling around Australia’s coastline three times.
* The transport of food by air generates 177 times more greenhouse gases than shipping.
How to minimise your food miles – think small steps, big results!
Select food grown or produced locally and in the time of year that it is seasonally available. Also check food labels when buying packaged products to consider how far food has travelled so you can weigh it into your purchase decisions based on ‘food miles’, budget and conscious. A WA seasonal guide is available here on our website.
So with all this in mind, choose what is healthier for you and your family. Rethink the value of ‘buying local’ and how it can lead to a bigger contribution by you to the world you live in. Very simply it secures our local food systems for our community and can encourage those around you to do the same. Sustainability is the key to our health and our happiness. So when you next jump in the car for fresh fruit & vege pop on in and say hi to Dave our new Store Manager, he is happy to help you out and also give you a taste of new season product in-store.