Food for Thought: Britain’s food system
The fixings for a traditional British turkey dinner could travel more than 24,000 miles before they reach the table, according to a report released yesterday by the U.K. lobby group Sustain. On average, food consumed in Britain travels 50 percent more than it did a decade ago, at the expense of human and environmental health. Sustain said that the country’s food system had become “almost completely dependent” on oil, and that internationally, food distribution is a major cause of pollution and climate change. The organization also criticized a food system in which countries essentially swap food. (For example, in 1997, the U.K. imported 33 million gallons of milk and exported 71 million gallons). It urged Britain to improve food quality and safety and protect the environment by supporting local food suppliers.
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