While buying food produced locally can cut down on carbon emissions used to transport the goods from their country of origin, the benefits may be counteracted by the “food print” of plants grown in greenhouse conditions.
The term is the latest buzzword used to describe the environmental impact of certain types of food production.
But while a carbon footprint refers to the emissions used to transport food across the world, a “food print” describes the amount of land needed to supply a person’s nutritional needs for a year.
So, there is something called the carbon footprint which kind of encapsulates the energy cost and maybe something of the global warming externality. Now there is the food print which sort of encapsulates the land cost. You might say it's all a bit confusing.
But talking about all these different footprints has given me an idea. Let's have a measure which actually encapsulates all the costs associated with production of something. You know - the energy cost, the labour cost, the transport, the raw materials, the taxes, the overheads. Everything. We could even add in the financing cost! That way we've missed nothing and we know that when we assess what the best way of of producing something, we really are working out the most efficient way of making it.
We'll call it "THE PRICE". And hey - if we charge consumers THE PRICE, they'll be incentivised to go for the most efficient, and therefore the most environmentally friendly option! Wow!! I really think I'm on to something here!
Do you think it'll catch on?