Are Nova Scotians eating local? Where is our food coming from?

How far does your food travel?

27 July 2010

The Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture in collaboration with Ecology Action Centre are releasing the final report of a study on food miles today. This report takes a closer look at the real cost of our food and what it might take to make a more locally based food system.

Jen Scott, co-author of Are Nova Scotians Eating Local says, “In 2008, we estimate that 13% of the food dollar Nova Scotians spend is being earned by Nova Scotia farmers. Over the last 11 years, this proportion has gone down. In 1997 it was 17%.”

If we are eating less local products, then where are Nova Scotians spending their food dollars, we ask? Marla MacLeod, co-author of the report and Food Action Committee Chair indicated that, “The study examined over 60 products and found that, on average, the food products were traveling nearly 4000 km from farm to plate.” “There is potential for reducing transport-related greenhouse gas emissions by switching to locally grown foods, provided that they are produced by methods of similar or increased energy efficiency compared with imports,” she adds.

At the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture, Richard Melvin, President is pleased with the report, “we see a great opportunity to increase local food consumption by strategically working with producers and retailers on how to increase locally grown produce in a sustainable way.”

To download a summary version of the report, please click here. 

To download the full report, please click here. [pdf, 1.5 MB]