How far did your taco travel?

Posted on March 23rd, 2010 by


Talk about your food miles! According to this study, conducted by students at the California College of the Arts, the ingredients in your “typical taco” (an admittedly troublesome term!) travel, collectively, two and a half times the circumference of the earth to reach “your taco truck.”

Admittedly, we in St. Peter HAVE no taco truck, but somehow, I don’t think that means that our taco ingredients travel less far.

So…should we never eat tacos again? Not the conclusion the class reaches at all. The environmental impact of our foods is not simply a matter of “how far did it travel to reach my plate?” (According to one study, only four percent of the energy used in producing our food is used to ship the food. And when it comes to that transportation, it turns out that my trip to the grocery store is a lot less energy efficient than the trip my tomato took from California.) And social justice for those who produce our food requires more than just calculating mileage.

All the same, it is sobering to realize how many miles that taco has logged before I bite into it. No wonder the lettuce looks a little tired….


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