Today food travels thousands of miles from the farm to the consumers. Why is this? Is it a positive or negative trend?
In an increasingly globalised world, food can travel many miles to reach consumers. This essay will discuss the reasons behind this, and consider whether it is a positive or negative trend.
Globalisation has increased the level of interdependence between countries and their reliance on food imports from other nations. For many countries, it is cheaper to import food rather than grow and cultivate it themselves. Moreover, fast transportation of goods has fostered a higher demand for more exotic food by consumers. The positive aspects include a cultivation of international trade and relations, creating open relationships between producers and consumers. Furthermore, by creating a larger market, farmers benefit financially, with more economic opportunities. Additionally, in countries where the geographical conditions hinder the ability to grow food or farm animals, importing products from elsewhere helps to decrease the issue of food scarcity.
Conversely, the environmental impact of food travel cannot be ignored. The use of fuels to transport food has greatly increased our carbon footprint. For instance, the importation of quinoa had negative effects on Peruvian farmlands and their environment. As demand surged, farmers had to find more land to cultivate. This pressure caused less sustainable forms of agriculture to take precedence, and caused harm to the quality of soil and its fertility. Food exportation also affects farmers themselves – to keep up with demand and make a profit, many farmers have to abandon traditional forms of cultivation. They are also at the mercy of corporations, finding they are squeezed out by larger businesses with the money and resources to grow, harvest and export faster and at a lower price.
Overall the negative impacts of this practise outweigh the positives. These impact us now, but more significantly, they will have devastating effects on our environment far into the future.
First I researched the trend so I had a better understanding of what caused it and how it came about. I then brainstormed and listed the positive and negative aspects. I used different news sites for research- The Guardian, The New York Times, Time Magazine, National Geographic. I also used scholarly and journal articles and YouTube videos.
I decided the first paragraph would focus on the reasons behind the trend and the positives to it; and the second would focus on the negatives. I chose two or three points to focus on in each paragraph.
Reasons for this trend:
Globalisation- transportation easier and faster （全球化—交通更便捷）
Importing cheaper （进口更便宜）
Higher demand for more exotic products（对更具异国情调产品的更高需求）
Fosters international trade（促进国际贸易）
Helps farmers financially（在经济上帮助农民）
Food scarcity- other countries can help （粮食短缺—其他国家可以提供帮助）
Some countries unable to grow crops – resources unavailable, geographical conditions（一些国家无法种植作物—-资源匮乏，地理条件恶劣）
Traditional forms of harvest abandoned – quinoa example （废弃的传统收割方式——藜麦示例）
Farmers undercut- too much competition （农民削价—太多的竞争）
Preservatives used to keep edible; harmful chemicals（被用于保持可食用的防腐剂；有害化学品）
Key words and phrases:
environmental impact of food miles食物里程的环境影响,
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