While this is the year of local food, some say that it is a simplistic analysis. According to researchers a the University of Wales Institute in Cardiff, "only around 2% of the environmental impact of food comes from transporting it from farm to shop. The vast majority of its ecological footprint comes from food processing, storage, packaging and growing conditions. So food grown locally could have a considerably bigger footprint than food flown halfway around the world, and consumers who make their choices on air miles alone may be doing more environmental harm.
"I'm a bit worried about the food miles [debate] because it is educating the consumer in the wrong way. It is such an insignificant point," said Ruth Fairchild at the University. "Those [foods] could have been produced using pesticides that have travelled all the way around the world. If you just take food miles, it is the tiny bit on the end." They suggest an "ecological footprint concept to develop a set of eco-diets designed to minimise the impact of food consumption on the planet. Sticking to the diets does not mean eating lentils all day, but the most eco-friendly diet excludes wine, spirits, chocolate, ice cream and most meat." Yum, sounds like fun. ::Guardian