a) 1,000 km
b) 3,000 km
c) 5,000 km
It is estimated that the current food system produces more than 50 percent of greenhouse gas emissions.
In Canada, particularly in winter, most fruits and vegetables are transported at least 2,500 km from their point of origin to your table. That transportation emits massive amounts of greenhouse gas.
Meat is usually produced locally. One would assume fewer greenhouse gas emissions due to shorter transportation distances. However, to produce one kilogram of beef requires nearly 15,000 litres of water and 7 kilograms of grain. Producing that one kilogram creates 11 tons of greenhouse gas emissions— in other words, rearing cattle produces more greenhouse gases than driving cars!
So, how many kilometres do the foods in an average Canadian meal travel to get to your table?
Consider the following meal, prepared in March 2012:
- Appetizer: Broccoli soup
- Main course: Chicken with rice, carrots and asparagus
- Dessert: Fruit salad
Let's see where the food came from and how many km it travelled *:
* Where possible, we favoured local food over food produced in other countries.
Appetizer: Broccoli soup
Main course: Chicken with rice, carrots and asparagus
|Carrots||Canada (Mexico or USA)||50 km|
Desert: Fruit salad
|Pineapples||Costa Rica||4,000 km|
|Apples||Canada (or USA)||50 km|
Total average: 3,042 km
How many kilometres do the foods in an average Canadian meal travel to get to your table?
The answer is b) 3,000 km