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1 Food Distribution and Transport Slides Images copyright. TEACHING THE FOOD SYSTEM A PROJECT OF THE JOHNS HOPKINS CENTER FOR A LIVABLE FUTURE 1

2 Overview Introduction Why food is transported Industry consolidation Food miles, energy and climate change Local food systems Regional food systems Reflection TEACHING THE FOOD SYSTEM A PROJECT OF THE JOHNS HOPKINS CENTER FOR A LIVABLE FUTURE 2

3 Introduction Essential questions Why is food transported over long distances? How, and how far, is food transported? What are the consequences of transporting food over long distances? What are the alternatives to global food distribution? What are their strengths and limitations? From where should our community get its food? TEACHING THE FOOD SYSTEM A PROJECT OF THE JOHNS HOPKINS CENTER FOR A LIVABLE FUTURE 3

4 Overview Introduction Why food is transported Industry consolidation Food miles, energy and climate change Local food systems Regional food systems Reflection TEACHING THE FOOD SYSTEM A PROJECT OF THE JOHNS HOPKINS CENTER FOR A LIVABLE FUTURE 4

5 Introduction Early 1900s For most of human history, perishable foods were by definition local. They travelled far only if they could be kept alive and breathing. - Susan Freidberg, Fresh: A Perishable History TEACHING THE FOOD SYSTEM A PROJECT OF THE JOHNS HOPKINS CENTER FOR A LIVABLE FUTURE 5

6 Introduction Recent developments Inexpensive oil Refrigerated transport New forms of processing Free trade policies Consumer demand Image copyright. TEACHING THE FOOD SYSTEM A PROJECT OF THE JOHNS HOPKINS CENTER FOR A LIVABLE FUTURE 6

7 Introduction 1930s Orange crate labels: TEACHING THE FOOD SYSTEM A PROJECT OF THE JOHNS HOPKINS CENTER FOR A LIVABLE FUTURE 7

8 Overview Introduction Why food is transported Industry consolidation Food miles, energy and climate change Local food systems Regional food systems Reflection TEACHING THE FOOD SYSTEM A PROJECT OF THE JOHNS HOPKINS CENTER FOR A LIVABLE FUTURE 8

9 Why food is transported Reasons Feeding densely populated places Demand for out-of-season foods Allowing regions to specialize in what they can best produce TEACHING THE FOOD SYSTEM A PROJECT OF THE JOHNS HOPKINS CENTER FOR A LIVABLE FUTURE 9

10 Why food is transported Feeding densely populated places All the land in New York State could only feed 55% of New York City AngMoKio. Manhattan, New York City Available at Wikimedia Commons. TEACHING THE FOOD SYSTEM A PROJECT OF THE JOHNS HOPKINS CENTER FOR A LIVABLE FUTURE 10

11 Why food is transported Demand for out-of-season foods Image copyright. TEACHING THE FOOD SYSTEM A PROJECT OF THE JOHNS HOPKINS CENTER FOR A LIVABLE FUTURE 11

12 Why food is transported Allowing regions to specialize Left: Image copyright. Right: Mable J Available at Wikimedia Commons. TEACHING THE FOOD SYSTEM A PROJECT OF THE JOHNS HOPKINS CENTER FOR A LIVABLE FUTURE 12

13 Why food is transported Allowing regions to specialize Cooper C. Banana tree in the Dominican Republic Available at Wikimedia Commons. Public domain. Other images copyright. TEACHING THE FOOD SYSTEM A PROJECT OF THE JOHNS HOPKINS CENTER FOR A LIVABLE FUTURE 13

14 Why food is transported Political, economic advantages U.S. Hog production, 2007 Food & Water Watch. Factory Farm Map TEACHING THE FOOD SYSTEM A PROJECT OF THE JOHNS HOPKINS CENTER FOR A LIVABLE FUTURE 14

15 Overview Introduction Why we transport food Industry consolidation Food miles, energy and climate change Local food systems Regional food systems Reflection TEACHING THE FOOD SYSTEM A PROJECT OF THE JOHNS HOPKINS CENTER FOR A LIVABLE FUTURE 15

16 Consolidation and other trends Food distributors Producers, Processors Storage Retailers Image copyright. TEACHING THE FOOD SYSTEM A PROJECT OF THE JOHNS HOPKINS CENTER FOR A LIVABLE FUTURE 16

17 Consolidation and other trends Excluding farmers from regional markets Apples consumed in Iowa Grown in Iowa Imported from out of state Kim B. Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future; TEACHING THE FOOD SYSTEM A PROJECT OF THE JOHNS HOPKINS CENTER FOR A LIVABLE FUTURE 17

18 Consolidation and other trends No place to process Smaller producers lost access to nearby processors Meat processor Meat processor Farmer Meat processor Meat processor Meat processor Kim B. Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future; TEACHING THE FOOD SYSTEM A PROJECT OF THE JOHNS HOPKINS CENTER FOR A LIVABLE FUTURE 18

19 Consolidation and other trends No place to process Smaller producers lost access to nearby processors Meat processor Meat processor Farmer Meat processor Meat processor Meat processor Kim B. Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future; TEACHING THE FOOD SYSTEM A PROJECT OF THE JOHNS HOPKINS CENTER FOR A LIVABLE FUTURE 19

20 Consolidation and other trends No place to process Smaller producers lost access to nearby processors Meat processor Meat processor Farmer Meat processor Meat processor Meat processor Kim B. Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future; TEACHING THE FOOD SYSTEM A PROJECT OF THE JOHNS HOPKINS CENTER FOR A LIVABLE FUTURE 20

21 Consolidation and other trends No place to process Smaller producers lost access to nearby processors Meat processor TOO FAR! Farmer Kim B. Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future; TEACHING THE FOOD SYSTEM A PROJECT OF THE JOHNS HOPKINS CENTER FOR A LIVABLE FUTURE 21

22 Overview Introduction Why food is transported Industry consolidation Food miles, energy and climate change Local food systems Regional food systems Reflection TEACHING THE FOOD SYSTEM A PROJECT OF THE JOHNS HOPKINS CENTER FOR A LIVABLE FUTURE 22

23 Food miles, energy and climate change Climate change, peak oil Left, center: U.S. Global Change Research Program. Other image copyright. TEACHING THE FOOD SYSTEM A PROJECT OF THE JOHNS HOPKINS CENTER FOR A LIVABLE FUTURE 23

24 Food miles, energy and climate change Food miles Images copyright. TEACHING THE FOOD SYSTEM A PROJECT OF THE JOHNS HOPKINS CENTER FOR A LIVABLE FUTURE 24

25 Food miles, energy and climate change Measuring food miles, energy, emissions Things to consider: TEACHING THE FOOD SYSTEM A PROJECT OF THE JOHNS HOPKINS CENTER FOR A LIVABLE FUTURE 25

26 Food miles, energy and climate change Measuring food miles, energy, emissions Things to consider: Mode of transport Weight Distance Multiple ingredients Animal feed Animals TEACHING THE FOOD SYSTEM A PROJECT OF THE JOHNS HOPKINS CENTER FOR A LIVABLE FUTURE 26

27 Food miles, energy and climate change Measuring food miles, energy, emissions Energy use: Kilocalories (kcal) Greenhouse gas emissions: Grams of carbon dioxide equivalent (g CO 2 e) Weight distance: Kilogram-kilometers (kg-km) TEACHING THE FOOD SYSTEM A PROJECT OF THE JOHNS HOPKINS CENTER FOR A LIVABLE FUTURE 27

28 Food miles, energy and climate change Emissions from transport, in context GHG emissions from produce, dairy and red meat consumed in U.S. households: Fruits and vegetables: Dairy: Red meat: Metric tons of CO 2 e per household, per year Adapted from: Weber CL, Matthews HS. Food-Miles and the relative climate impacts of food choices in the United States. Environmental Science and Technology. 2008;42(10), TEACHING THE FOOD SYSTEM A PROJECT OF THE JOHNS HOPKINS CENTER FOR A LIVABLE FUTURE 28

29 Food miles, energy and climate change Emissions from transport, in context Total GHG emissions food consumed in U.S. households: Adapted from: Weber CL, Matthews HS. Food-Miles and the relative climate impacts of food choices in the United States. Environmental Science and Technology. 2008;42(10), TEACHING THE FOOD SYSTEM A PROJECT OF THE JOHNS HOPKINS CENTER FOR A LIVABLE FUTURE 29

30 Overview Introduction Why food is transported Industry consolidation Food miles, energy and climate change Local food systems Regional food systems Reflection TEACHING THE FOOD SYSTEM A PROJECT OF THE JOHNS HOPKINS CENTER FOR A LIVABLE FUTURE 30

31 Local food systems Definitions Produced within miles of the buyer Or, sold directly from farmer to consumer Image copyright. TEACHING THE FOOD SYSTEM A PROJECT OF THE JOHNS HOPKINS CENTER FOR A LIVABLE FUTURE 31

32 Local food systems Potential benefits Producer-consumer relationship Food produced for flavor, not durability Freshness Stronger local economies Preserve local cooking traditions Image copyright. TEACHING THE FOOD SYSTEM A PROJECT OF THE JOHNS HOPKINS CENTER FOR A LIVABLE FUTURE 32

33 Local food systems Is local always better? 100 miles may not provide enough quantity, variety Local does not imply harmful production practices are not used Shorter transport distances don t always equate with less fuel use or fewer GHG emissions TEACHING THE FOOD SYSTEM A PROJECT OF THE JOHNS HOPKINS CENTER FOR A LIVABLE FUTURE 33

34 Overview Introduction Why food is transported Industry consolidation Food miles, energy and climate change Local food systems Regional food systems Reflection TEACHING THE FOOD SYSTEM A PROJECT OF THE JOHNS HOPKINS CENTER FOR A LIVABLE FUTURE 34

35 Regional food systems Definition Broader than local but includes local Geographic, cultural or political boundaries TEACHING THE FOOD SYSTEM A PROJECT OF THE JOHNS HOPKINS CENTER FOR A LIVABLE FUTURE 35

36 Overview Introduction Why food is transported Industry consolidation Food miles, energy and climate change Local food systems Regional food systems Reflection TEACHING THE FOOD SYSTEM A PROJECT OF THE JOHNS HOPKINS CENTER FOR A LIVABLE FUTURE 36

37 Reflection What is the optimal scale of distribution? Some suggest the optimal scale of food distribution is one that: Supports sustainable production Provides adequate food supply Offers variety of food options Keeps economic returns within an area TEACHING THE FOOD SYSTEM A PROJECT OF THE JOHNS HOPKINS CENTER FOR A LIVABLE FUTURE 37

38 Reflection What is the optimal scale of distribution? Local, regional or global? Which foods? Who will produce it? Benefits? Challenges? How to reduce impacts of long distance transport? Image copyright. TEACHING THE FOOD SYSTEM A PROJECT OF THE JOHNS HOPKINS CENTER FOR A LIVABLE FUTURE 38

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