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The Food Mile Quiz

Have you ever thought about where your food comes from? Even a simple meal has travelled the globe before it arrives on your plate, with potatoes from Egypt, apples from New Zealand and beans from Kenya. These are usually flown by plane, and air travel is the fastest growing source of carbon dioxide emissions _ the principal cause of climate change.

· For every kilo of kiwi fruit transported from New Zealand, 5kg of carbon dioxide is pumped into the atmosphere

· 1 kilo of asparagus flown from California produces 4kg of carbon dioxide. If they were grown in Europe 900 times less energy would be produced

· I tonne of food in the UK now travels an average of 123km before it reaches the shelves, compared with 82km in 1978

Most of Europe's orange juice comes from Brazil. Demand for orange juice has doubled in the last decade, yet in this country there is a richer source of Vitamin C that grows everywhere _ rosehips. During the Second World War when it was impossible to get oranges, children were given days off school to go and pick rosehips _ by 1943 450 tonnes were picked a year. (for ways on cooking and preparing them see Roger Phillips book `Wild Food' which tells you all the free nosh you can get in the UK).

And how about this for madness. Vegetables being sold in two superstores on the outskirts of Evesham in Worcestershire were grown just one mile from the town. But before they reached the shelves they had been trucked to Hereford, then to Dyfed, then to a distribution depot in Manchester, from where they were sent back to Evesham. Not surprisingly, a quarter of our road traffic is now transporting food.

   

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