Why 'Food Miles' Make Eating Healthy Hard
How far has your food travelled to get to your kitchen? When it comes to herbs, the answer may be surprising. To get to your plate each packet of herbs has to be picked at the farm, processed, and driven to the store, where it waits around for days or weeks to be bought. Only after all that does it get to your kitchen. That’s a lot of travel time! That journey — that time spent between farm and plate— is what we mean when we talk about ‘food miles’.
Food miles matter because herbs start losing their freshness from the moment they’re picked. When eaten fresh, herbs are an amazing source of vitamins - particularly A, C and K. Many herbs also contain polyphenols: plant compounds that have both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capabilities. Eating fresh herbs is a delicious way to stay healthy.
The problem is that once they’re picked, their taste and nutritional value wilt away the longer they’re not used; and by the time supermarket herbs get to you, they’ve likely spent weeks in transit. If you want fresh, tasty herbs, there’s no good way to keep them fresh once they’re out of the pot.
By growing at home, the farm is kept as close to you as possible. There’s no waiting around on shelves to be processed or picked, so food miles are reduced to however many short steps lie between your UrbiPod and your kitchen.
As a result, not only do you get the freshest possible herbs, but you save the planet a huge toll in carbon emissions. The average Aussie travels 70,000 kilometers per year for shopping, creating over 16,000 tonnes of CO2 across the country. That’s without including the emissions created from thousands of transport trucks driving back and forth! Food miles translate directly into emissions, since vehicles are needed to move supermarket food around.
Growing at home is the best way to cut back on food miles. Bringing the farm to your countertop is much better for your health, and cuts back on emissions too. When grown in an UrbiPod without the need for any synthetic herbicides or pesticides, home-grown herbs are always fresh, and always healthy.