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26.01.2010 Studies
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Environmental Impacts of Food Production and Consumption

Defra, 2006


  • Life-cycle assessment of a broad range of food products with regards to effects on water, energy use and global warming.


  • Organic food tends to have lower environmental impacts than conventionally-grown foods, but this is not true for all foods and all classes of environmental impact.
  • There is no strong evidence that locally-sourced foods are generally better for the environment than globally-sourced foods. For some foods, global-sourcing is even preferable. Transportation significantly worsens the bottom-line for air-freighted but not for shipped products. The environmental impacts of car-based shopping can be more problematic than the transportation from farms to shops.