Food glorious food!
Food production has increased significantly mainly as a result of an increase in the number of people living on the planet. The quest to increase food production worldwide - whether out of necessity for survival or to sell to areas where food items are desired, but otherwise unobtainable all year round - has had significant
impacts. These can be categorised as environmental, political, social and
A food mile is the distance that food items travel from where they are grown to where they are eaten.
A carbon footprint is the amount of carbon generated by things people do, including creating a demand for out-of-season food.
Why is global demand for food increasing?
Environmental impacts of growing more food to meet demand
Growing food on marginal land
Example of both political & environmental impacts:
Political impacts cont.
• This mainly arises from the hostilities associated with water
• Mainly in areas of water stress – these are areas with little water – desert areas – Saharan Africa and the Middle East
• Irrigation uses a lot of water – this reduces the amount of water in rivers and groundwater stores
• People other than farmers have less water to drink and for business
• The water would then need to be rationed
• In areas where global warming is causing temperatures to rise more water will
evaporate, there could be less rainfall and ultimately less water for people to
• There could potentially be wars in the future over the use of water in Egypt, Kashmir
For more details on water war click on the link below:
Buying locally produced food
In the UK, farmers benefit from local people buy food they produce and there are arguably more widespread economic, social, political and environmental benefits. Buying from local, or indeed regional or national sources, should benefit the domestic farming industry and address environmental concerns.
In the UK, we can ensure that we support local producers by:
looking at labels in supermarkets, which increasingly give the specific origin of foods visiting specialist local shops
buying online from 'local' producers
supporting local farmers' markets
attending regional agricultural shows, which celebrate and sell local produce