Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Food miles to assess sustainability: A revision
Authors: VAN PASSEL, Steven 
Issue Date: 2013
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:
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

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Van Passel-food miles.pdf
  Restricted Access
381.33 kBAdobe PDFView/Open    Request a copy
Show full item record


checked on Sep 6, 2020


checked on May 21, 2022

Page view(s)

checked on May 20, 2022


checked on May 20, 2022

Google ScholarTM



Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.