You believe it is better to always buy local, right? Well, that's a myth according to Swedish research.
“From a climate perspective local produce isn’t better,” says Lena Ekelund Axelsson, professor of Horticultural Economy at Sveriges lantbruksunviersitet (Swedish University of Agriculture Sciences).
Locally produced products put in focus the shorter transport route, but in order to try to save the environment it is better to buy ecological food from far away, than buy something conventionally produced in the neighborhood.
Researchers at KTH (Royal Institute of Technology) have found that the transportation of local produce is often done with small, inefficient vehicles that cause the same kind of environmental damage as faraway transportation does.
Also, “locally produced” has still to be defined. Producers and buyers may call something “locally produced” when it was really produced miles away. “It’s an evasive conception,” says Lars Nellmer, managing director at the association Krav, a member of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements.
“From an environmental perspective it is much more important how something is produced than where. Which is why Krav has a global perspective. Many of our products are imported.” If you want to do something good for the environment, the best thing to do is to eat less meat.
“Vegetables and fruit have 50 percent less impact on the environment than meat,” says Emelie Hansson, an agronomist at Naturskyddsföreningen (The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation). But of course, you may choose to buy local in order to support local businesses.
Buying local produce doesn’t really mean you’re doing the environment a favor. Better then to buy ecologically grown produce.
“From a climate perspective local produce isn’t better,” - Lena Ekelund Axelsson, professor of Horticultural Economy at the Swedish University of Agriculture Sciences. Photo: Faculty of Landscape Planning, Horticulture and Agricultural Science.