Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/15077
Title: Food miles to assess sustainability: A revision
Authors: VAN PASSEL, Steven 
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: WILEY-BLACKWELL
Source: SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, 21 (1), p. 1-17
Abstract: Sustainability assessment is an essential process in our aim to reach a more sustainable production and consumption pattern. This research revises the food miles concept as a guiding tool to assess sustainability. Food miles measure the distance that food travels from where it is grown or raised to where it is consumed. Three different concepts to assess sustainability are described: (i) food miles, (ii) enhanced food miles, (iii) food chain sustainability. An illustrative case study shows that there is a strong danger of oversimplification when using food miles as an assessment tool. Second, the food miles concept can be enhanced with all relevant transport externalities taking into account different transport modes and transport (in)efficiency. Third, all relevant economic, social, and ecological aspects should be taken into account. Besides transport externalities, also externalities caused by food production, food packaging, food marketing, and food consumption should be incorporated. Moreover, the trade-off with development goals cannot be neglected. As a consequence, there is a strong danger of incommensurability as the result of different sustainability model assumptions and unclear system boundaries. Nevertheless, sustainability assessment can enrich policy making and support tailored policy measures to improve food chain sustainability.
Notes: Hasselt Univ, Fac Business Econ, Diepenbeek, Belgium.
Keywords: Planning & Development; externalities; food miles; food production; food transport; sustainability; sustainability assessment; sustainable development;externalities; food miles; food production; food transport; sustainability; sustainability assessment; sustainable development
Document URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/15077
ISSN: 0968-0802
e-ISSN: 1099-1719
DOI: 10.1002/sd.485
ISI #: 000314187900001
Category: A1
Type: Journal Contribution
Validations: ecoom 2014
Appears in Collections:Research publications

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