To be a responsible, “green” consumer, food miles is a necessary but not sufficient metric for evaluating a product’s impact. While it does help to know how far and by what means a product had to travel (as travel involves vehicle emissions of CO2 and other pollutants), consumers still need to know how products were grown to make the best decision. Knowing only the food miles doesn’t tell you if something is grown organically or with pesticides, or harvested by hand or by machine.
Food miles or the distance that the product had to travel to reach its destination is one thing that green consumers consider before purchasing a product. The further a product travels the more energy is required for shipping and transportation. Also by purchasing locally grown foods people are contributing to the local economy. Some other factors that green consumers consider is if the product is organically grown or raised, are sustainable practices being used, how much packaging is used, is the packaging made from recycled sources, does the company making the product have an environmental policy or goals, does the company support the local community, is the company using renewable energy sources, and what is the company doing to reduce its environmental impact.
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