It is increasingly popular to buy locally produced goods today. The popularity has grown with an expanding awareness of the emissions from transportation. The global foodsystem of today is transporting produce from one corner of the world to another every day. It is common that the distance form the producer to the consumer is very long, which is very unsustainable. Partly, due to the long transportation, which releases emissions. But also due to the quality of the food. It is common that locally produced foods are better for the environment than imported produce. Although, this is not a gurantee.
Growing- and productionmethods are sometimes more important considerations than transport. In fact, many times, they can put a greater preassure on the earth than the actual transportation. This means that products from an organic farm are most likely better for the environment than local products from a conventional farm. However, this differs depending on each product it is. More so, the importance of transport is more significant if the product is transported with an airplane. Note that if the produce is fresh and fragile there is greater likelyhood of airplane transportation. This kind of transport releases about 200 times more emissions than transportation with ships.
What is most sustainable?
Considering the above, the most sustainable groceries are both produced locally and organic. Preferably from smallscale farms that strive for more biodiversity. More so, it is more sustainable to buy produce while considering the natural seasons. For example, in Sweden, this would be equivalent to eating swedish apples in the fall. By buying produce while following the seasons it is also less likely that they have been transported with airplanes.
Locally produced in Sweden
In Sweden it is common to thing about locally produced products when buying meat. This is because swedish meat is considered to be produced with lower emissions. However, the decreased emissions tend to be more related to how the animals are treated and what they are fed. Not necessarily to a a decreased transportation. More so, it is important to know that eating meat will affect the climate regardless if it is locally produced or not. Not consuming meat, or eating less of it, is still the best way to lower emissions.
Finally, it is important to note that some products are advertised as locally produced without being so. If you discover this, you can report it to your municipality.