Because Food Matters: Local or Imported Food: How to Decide?

Familiarizes students with important debates that are going on in the world of food production.


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What’s wrong with enjoying the rich variety of foods that importers make available? Do the reported drawbacks of globalization mean that we should eat only locally grown food? How are Western food choices related to environmental problems and to developing-world farmers?

This program explores those questions by studying agricultural practices in the United Kingdom and worldwide. Comparing amounts and types of food grown in Britain and in foreign countries, the film then explains concepts like food miles, the food carbon footprint, and food security. Viewers learn how food choices can affect wildlife habitats, global temperature, and the well-being of indigenous peoples.

Video Segments

1. Where Food Originates People are enjoying more and more imported foods, despite the fact that the UK is capable of producing a variety of foods. The UK has a proud tradition of farming animals and crops. International competition has put pressure on the agricultural industry.
2. Food Miles Food miles is the distance food travels from field to plate. The further food travels, the more CO2 is produced. Choosing seasonal food cuts food miles. Higher price, environmental issues and decreased nutrition may be related to imported food.
3. Our Food Carbon Footprint Food carbon footprint is the effect food purchases have on the environment, specifically greenhouse gas emissions cause by growth, processing and transportation. Buying local food and composting does help, but there is more to be done.
4. Food Security Food security means that people have access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food. A growing global population affects this. Price increases can cause food insecurity. These increases can be caused by natural disasters and climate change.
5. Making a Decision Deciding whether to buy imported or local food is not easy and requires taking may things into consideration such as price, convenience and environmental issues. Imported food may sustain farmers in less economically developed countries.



Grade: 6-8, 9-12

Because Food Matters: Local or Imported Food: How to Decide? (DVD)
© 2008
Time: 26 Minutes

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