Local food: Benefits and failings due to modern agriculture

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Abstract

This paper aims to examine the issue raised by the consumption of locally produced food in all its various aspects, and in particular, addresses how this practice contributes to local and global sustainability. It analyzes the different definitions of local food, the strategies used, the implications of the distance traveled in the transportation of food to the consumer’s table – food miles, the relationships between local food consumption and sustainability, farming practices that reduce carbon emissions, contribution of urban agriculture to local food, local trading of food produced by rural farmers, as well as a number of relationships between the consumption of local food and human nutrition and health, local food protection and the ability to support local food production for humanitarian actions in disaster situations. The promotion of “local food” is a complex problem covering environmental issues, the economy and health. Transportation is not the only factor that determines how efficient it is to consume local food. Often, the technologies used for agricultural production are those most responsible for the degree of sustainability in the production and supply of food to the population. Local production does not always mean lower emissions of greenhouse gases. In general, the consumption of local foods, produced in ways adapted to the local environment using technologies with an ecological basis, is something beneficial and salutary for the environment, economy and society in general.

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Coelho, F. C., Coelho, E. M., & Egerer, M. (2018). Local food: Benefits and failings due to modern agriculture. Scientia Agricola, 75(1), 84–94. https://doi.org/10.1590/1678-992x-2015-0439

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