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Is Buying Locally The Best Option For The Environment?

More and more businesses and homeowners believe that it is better for the planet if we choose to buy our food from local sources. After all, any food which comes from far away will require time to arrive at their kitchen, which may have an impact on its freshness, and will damage the environment through the amount of fuel used to transport the item. It is also likely that food from far away will require much more packaging, and will therefore create more waste.

Calculating the environmental impact of our food purchasing decisions can be extremely difficult, particularly for those businesses such as restaurants and food retail stores. That is why we offer complete retail waste management services, to ensure that all businesses which are reliant on high-quantities of food will be able to limit their environmental-footprint as much as possible.

The Environmental Impact Of Non-Local Food

According to research conducted by Rich Pirog, the senior associate director at Michigan University’s Centre For Regional Food Systems, one of the major issues regarding shipped food is the manner by which it is transported. Even then, many other researchers have claimed, local production doesn’t always win out over larger-scale operations which often have more efficient transport systems and means of preserving the food for longer.

It is usually assumed that locally-sourced food is much more eco-friendly than its alternatives, but tomatoes, for example, grown in Sweden’s greenhouses require s much as ten times more energy than if it was shipped over from Southern Europe. In a similar vein, it wasn’t the refrigeration or transport of beef, chicken or eggs to supermarkets which were responsible for a major hike in carbon emissions, but rather the production of fresh meats and eggs at the point of origin. Overall, transportation resulted in as little as 1/2% rises in energy costs; in comparison, fresh produce came in at around 11%.

In many cases, therefore, buying local is not always better for the environment, although it has become a major selling point for many restaurants and businesses. Locally-sourcing food, however, has other advantages, including improved freshness and supporting a local community and local food manufacturers.

From an environmental perspective, it is usually better to buy locally-sourced produce when the produce itself naturally occurs in your area. Foods which aren’t naturally grown in your local area are likely to have a higher energy requirement than simply transporting them from their natural environment.

The Waste And Loss Of Food

The most wasteful part of the entire food industry, by far, is the amount of food that is lost or wasted. This results, in fact, for as much as 1/3rd of the world’s food production. Not only is this as a result of inadequate systems with regards to mass production, but the waste of the end-user. Food that is allowed to spoil or which is simply thrown away is one of the major contributors to the environmental footprint of many eateries and other retail outlets.

In America, as much as 12% of all food products are lost as a result of spoilage or other issues, but an unbelievable 28% of all food is wasted once it has been sold to the customer. Two of the best ways to effectively reduce the amount of waste we create are to buy less food (and make sure that we use what food we do buy), and that businesses and restaurants use the very best retail waste management to reduce their environmental impact with regards to food packaging.

Retail Waste Management Services, From Recycling Services

Here at CERS, we are proud to offer industry-leading retail waste management services to a wide range of businesses, from all industries. Ensuring that your food packaging is dealt with in the most ethically-responsible manner possible is absolutely essential to reduce your, or your business’, carbon footprint.

For more information, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our professional team today on 01952 204471; alternatively, if you have any questions or concerns, you can email them to our team directly at

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