a local farming system of people working in a field

The environmental impact of local food systems

Local food systems refer to the local production and consumption of food within a specific geographical area, typically within a 100-mile radius.

Our food choices have a significant impact on the environment, and understanding the environmental impact of local food systems can help us make more informed and sustainable decisions.

The Environmental impact of local food systems

  1. Transportation emissions

By sourcing food locally, we reduce the transportation emissions associated with food production and distribution, helping to lower the carbon footprint of our food choices.

local food systems produced healthy leaves

2. Reduced waste

Local food systems often rely on seasonal and regional food production, reducing the waste associated with long-distance transportation and storage.

3. Supporting sustainable farming practices

Local food systems are often associated with small-scale, sustainable farming practices that prioritize the health of the environment and communities.

The carbon footprint of food choices

  1. Processed food production: Processed food production often relies on large-scale industrial processes that consume significant amounts of energy and contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.
  2. Imported food transportation: Importing food from distant locations also contributes to transportation emissions. Making local food choices a more environmentally sustainable option.

How to reduce carbon footprint through food choices

1. Choose local and seasonal produce

By choosing locally sourced, seasonal produce, we can reduce the transportation emissions and waste associated with food production.

2. Support sustainable agriculture

Supporting sustainable agriculture through our food choices helps promote environmentally conscious farming practices. This in turn reduces the carbon footprint of our food systems.

3. Reduce meat consumption

Reducing meat consumption, especially beef, and lamb can significantly reduce the carbon footprint of our food choices. This is because animal agriculture is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.

4. Avoid processed food

Choosing whole, unprocessed food options can reduce the carbon footprint associated with processed food production.


Our food choices have a significant impact on the environment and choosing locally sourced, sustainable, and unprocessed options can help reduce the carbon footprint of our food systems.

By making informed and conscious food choices, we can each play a role in creating a more sustainable food system and protecting the environment for future generations.

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