What are food miles? How do they impact the environment?

Year 5 spend the afternoon finding out about where our food comes from.  Although we found out that Goldhill Farm, where we visited last week, had strawberries growing, they were not yet ripe.  So where have all the strawberries that fill our lunch boxes come from?  It turns out, a long way!

We  looked at vegetable and fruit packaging from supermarkets and by using google maps, worked out each item’s food miles.  This is the number of miles the food had travelled to get from the producer (grower) to the consumer (us).

There were plum tomatoes from Morocco (1,293 food miles), strawberries from Spain (747 food miles), bananas from Columbia (5,052 food miles) and berries from Morocco (1,824 food miles).  There were even some ‘wonky’ carrots all the way from Nairobi (4,265 food miles) and grapes from Chile  (6,731 food miles).

Then we used the internet to help us research the journey of bananas, oranges, coffee and strawberries.  This made us think about the impact on the environment of getting food from the place it is produced to our plate.   We discussed how buying locally helps reduce food miles and supports local farms.

What a fun and practical afternoon – well done Year 5!


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