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The sustainability of the UBC Food System : Collaborative Project III : food mileage Asada, Yuka; Condon, Kathleen; Jackson, Glenda; Lee, Sandy; McMillan, Erin; Smith, Andrew; Wone, Lysa 2004-03-31

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UBC Social Ecological Economic Development Studies (SEEDS) Student Report       Agricultural Sciences 450 The Sustainability of the UBC Food System Collaborative Project III Yuka Asada, Kathleen Condon, Glenda Jackson, Sandy Lee, Erin McMillan, Andrew Smith, Lysa Wone  University of British Columbia AGSC 450 March 31, 2004           Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report”.    Agricultural Sciences 450 Th e Sustainab ility of the UBC Food Sy stem Collabo rativ e Pro ject III     Food Mileage ( Fo r Dr. Alejan d ro Ro jas and Lisk a Ri ch er, T. A.  March 31 , 200 4     Group 6:  Yuka As ada  Kathl een Condon  Glenda J ackson  EMA ILED  Sand y Le e  Erin McMil lan  Andrew Smit h  Lys a Wone   1   Abstract: It has been determined by Group 6 in the UBC Food System Collaborative Project of 2004 that the current diagnosis of the UBC Food System is one of unsustainability.  Consumers in this food system do not currently view foodstuffs here on campus as affordable or nutritious and the necessary information describing the nutritional aspects of food processed here on campus is absent.  More underlying to this unsustainability, is the fact that most of this UBC community does not have adequate awareness of UBC’s sustainability initiative.  At the root of this unsustainability in the food system, is the management of waste and the efficiency of composting and recycling programs, as well as the excessive mileage that food has traveled to get here to UBC. This lack of environmental responsibility has prompted the formation of the UBC Food System collaborative project, which, since its inception in 2001 has placed incredible pressure on increasing the sustainability of this UBC Food System.  Most of the ideals and initiatives responsible for this action here at UBC have been driven by the members of the AGSC 450 – Land, Food and Community student body.  This year is no different and Group 6, through a weakly-anthropocentric paradigm, and the evaluation of past groups’ achievements, has provided the stakeholders in this UBC Food System with several social, economic, and ecological indicators that will serve to catalyze positive initiatives here on campus, which will drive this food system closer to sustainability.  These indicators include the accessibility of affordable and culturally-appropriate foodstuffs, as well as the distance food travels in regards to its environmental costs, thus illuminating the true cost of food to the eye of the consumer.  Food mileage could be measured using Weighted Average Source Distancing, including CO2 emissions and freshness into this food mileage assessment.  By emphasizing the impacts of increased distancing of food from the consumer, Group 6 has provided solutions in the form of food mileage labeling, alternative food purchasing, and consumer awareness programs as a means of illuminating the “out of sight, out of mind” mentality that currently plagues the UBC Food System, which serves as a microcosm of the global food system.  Through this UBC Food System Collaborative Project, Group 6 has exemplified the vision of UBC’s Sustainable Food System initiative and provided the stakeholders with the tools needed to expedite our progress towards sustainability.         2  Introduction and Problem Definition The curr ent unsustainabil it y of the UBC fo od s yst em as viewed b y the Agri cult ural Sciences 450 students is unquesti onable .   This has been mad e evident not onl y in the on - campus practi ces of certain stakeholder s, but also in the lack of a sust ainabili t y clause and food purch asing poli c y in the UBC Fo od Services missi on statement.  Man y students do n ot perceive food pric es to be affordable on th e UBC campus .  Although mor e nutrit ious opti ons are becomi ng avail abl e, the majorit y of food cur rentl y offer ed on campus is not nut ritiou s, nor is nutritional information provided .  There is lit tl e awa rene ss about sustainabil it y, as well as associated so cio - cu lt ural and environmental iss ues.  Waste and its coll ecti on and re mov al are of enormous conce rn to man y of th e stakeholde r s in the UBC Food S yste m Project and these conce r ns have been ex pounded in past Food S ystem Coll aborati ve Proje ct proce ed ings.  Accordin g to the UBC Waste Mana gement Annu al Report from 2002 - 2003, the campus gene rates approx im atel y 5,500 tons of soli d waste annuall y.  Although ther e ar e a nu mber of rec ycli n g s ystem s int erspersed around campus , these t yp es of s yste ms require subst anti al improvements to incre ase t he effici enc y of on - campus compos ti ng and rec ycli n g pro grams in orde r to divert more solid waste fro m the landfil l.  Whil e there ar e a number of compos t bins currentl y in plac e in and around the Student Union Buil ding, as well as in junior residenc es, man y students are not awar e of th eir locati ons . Additi onall y, current on - campus comp osti ng pro gr ams are conf ined to the student uni on buil ding and juni or resid ences such as Totem Park and Place Vanie r.   Food on campus has trav eled ex cessi ve milea ge to reach th e consum ers at UBC, and food providers  3 re l y ver y litt le on locall y produced food.  The UBC Farm, for inst anc e, has a limit ed capa cit y to p roduce food and an even gr eater limi tation in its capacit y t o serve the fo od needs o f the UBC comm unit y.  Currentl y it has onl y pro vided $1100 worth of pro duce  to UBC Food Servi ces in 2003 (Sustainabil it y Init iatives - U BC food Ser vices, 2003).  Our grou p has chosen to fo cus on this food mileage fac et of the UBC Food System.  Group 6’s definition of food miles extends past that provided by the Aldo Leopold C enter for Sustainable Agricult ur e: the dist ance food travels from the pla c e wher e it is produced, to where it is consumed.  Our def ini ti on takes int o consi derati on the dist ance that fo od waste must travel in order for it to be disposed of.   Value Assumption The underl yin g  value ass umpt ions of our group ha ve influenced th e directi o n of our ideas, dialogue and outcomes t hroughout this project.  Most members in our gro up felt their par adigm wa s weakl y anthropo centric, as the y consi der humans and their needs to be of central c onc ern, whil e reco gniz ing the eff ects of their acti ons on their sur roundings. Some membe rs, wit h stronge r environmental ties, woul d be more accur atel y cat e goriz ed in the eco - c entric paradi gm.  Although th ese indi viduals have a stron g inherent appr eciation of nature, our dive rgent vie ws did not cause an y unresolved diff eren ces wit hin our team.  The ac ademi c compos it ion of our group included: five Nutriti on and Dietet ics students, and two Agroecolo g y students. As all members of our gro up have compl eted La nd, F ood and Comm unit y I, II and much of III, we hav e ex plored simi lar educati onal material and epist emol o gies in this area of stud y.   4 This series of cou rses str essed the ne ed for ecolo gicall y, economi c all y and sociall y sust ainable practi ces through a coordinat ed, co mm unit y - b ased and holi sti c effort. We beli eve that the latt er should be a go al for the UBC Food S yste m, thus all owing it to off er nutrit ious, cult urall y acceptabl e and afford able foods.  Rationale for Selection of Best Model From the Four Best U BCFS S 2003 Papers, our gr oup agreed th at Group 9 developed the best  model for guidi ng our transit ion towar ds a more s ustainable food s ystem.  The model shows an understandin g of the s yst ems concept b y ove rlapp ing the thre e components of sustainabil it y and creati ng indi cators such as social - economi c and ecolo gical - social.  This idea is mapped out in a compreh en sibl e amoeba dia gr am, which is visuall y effe cti ve in rep resenti n g the subcat e gori es.  As well , the chos en indi cators corr espond to the measur es that our gro up feels ar e app ropriate; especiall y the economi c indi cator of profit abil it y of the food s ystem and th e social indicator of avail abil it y and accept abil it y of foods.   Assessment of Group 9’s Problem Definition Although we felt that Group 9 had the best model from the 2003 UBC Foo d S ystem coll aborati ve proj ect, the ir problem definiti on pro vided few othe r consi der ati ons.  First, the importance of the nutrit ional value of foods was ne gle cted.  In order to be sust ainabl e, a food s ystem must support the well - bein g and healt h of its members.  Furthe r, their problem de finiti on overlooked the importa nce of food s ecu rit y: that all people, at all tim es, have ph ysical and economi c access to sufficient, saf e and nutrit ious food to meet their dietar y needs and foo d prefe renc es for a healt hy and acti ve life (Agricul ture  5 C anada, 1999).  Th e y did menti on ed  that foods on c ampus need to be mo r e affordable to students i n order to achieve economi c sust ainabili t y not just by food s ervice providers, but ever y membe r of the UBC Comm unit y.  Foo d providers ne ed to be ab le to cover their costs an d make a pro fit. Howeve r, ever yone on  campus ne e ds to have ac cess to affor dable and nutrit ionall y adequate foodst uffs.  What adjust ments could be made to ensure that both the food provider pro fits an d food is affo rdable fo r the consum er?  The iss ue of affor dabil it y is more co mpl icated than wa s pr ese nted.  Group 9 did menti on the importance of consi dering food milea ge to eco logical sus tainabil it y, but did not mention the ways in which food milea ge could impact food securit y.  If we rel y solel y on local l y grown foods then we are compromi sing our abil it y to provide a vari et y of nutriti ous foods yea r roun d .  Also it does not promote equit y, but rather in equal it y . Our group is awar e t hat a more sust ainable UBC cannot be developed overnight, and that it will require coll aborati on an d co operati on betw een all facult y m embers and UBC residents , but if we reco gniz e the barriers and wor k to overcome them, we beli eve that we can ch an ge th e poli cies and foster gr eate r sustainabil it y in the UBC comm unit y.   Assessment of Group 9’s Sustainability Indicators Overall , we felt that grou p 9 did an ex cell ent job of choosi ng indi c ators that were relev ant, eas y to understand, based on accessi ble dat a, and reli ab le.  As Hart M (2000 ) describes, thes e ar e the att ributes that vali date an indi cator, and for th e pur pose of thi s project help t o posi ti on the UBC Food System in the “Sustainable - Unsustainable” continuum.  However, group 9’s choice of their indicator to measurin g food milea ge i s not tangibl e.  The data required to det ermine where all the foods at UBC  6 come from would be di ff icult to determi ne and ex tremel y time consum ing, especiall y when on e ne e ds to consi der that most of the foods are process ed and t herefo re, ma y have tr avel ed to sever al diffe rent locati ons before reac hin g UBC; or contain man y differ ent food t ypes ori gin ati ng from multi ple differ ent origins.  Thus, Group 9’s criteria measuring food miles, is not a good indicator as it is not based on widel y acc essi ble data.     The ecolo gic al indicators dev ised b y Group 9 can be improved upon with defined levels of acceptable and unacceptable food wastes.  Group 9 designated signs of unsustainability as “most of the food waste being disposed in garbage bins,” and sustainability as “very low quantity of food waste being disposed in garbage bins.”  The problem with these statements is that ‘most’ and ‘very low’ are subj ecti ve and unquanti fi able terms.  This indicat or requires calcul able me asurements fo r the propo rtion or perc enta ge of food wa sted.    The ot her indicators us ed by group 9 wer e ex cell e nt as were th e methods to measure them.  It is difficult however, to locate the UBC Food System on the “Sustainable - Unsustainable” continuum based on the information provided.  Group 9 su ggested there be four leve ls on th eir conti nuum: unsust ainable, minim all y sust ainable, in termediatel y sust ainable, and sust ainable.  Each indi cator provided would be measured and then the av era ge value would be tak en for all the indic ators, and thi s value would then be used to loca te the UBC Food System on the “Sustainable - Unsustainable” continuum.    This model assumes that all the indicators hold an equal wei ght and importa nce.  Althou gh the four levels provides a su bjecti ve measur ement, our group feels that this view is an oversi mpl ificati on of  7 reali t y and assum es that ever yone has the same de finiti on of the ambi guous term sus tainabil it y.   We feel that each indi cator should be assi gn ed a valu e and situated in its own conti nuum.  This wa y all the conti nuums as well as each indi vid ual indicator would be monit ored to ach ieve the over all go al of a sust ainable UBC Food Sys tem.    Our Sustainability Indicators After discussing group 9’s model in detail, our group identified three indicators to assess the contribut ion of food mileage  to the over all sust ainabili t y of the UBC food s ys tem.   Social Indicators Our group has identi fied three social indicato rs. The first indicator is the accessi bil it y to a wide variet y of cult ur all y appr opriate and dive rse meals .  Foods must be cult ura ll y a c ceptable amon g members of the UBC co mm unit y sinc e man y peo ple wit h diverse ethni c back grounds are a part of t his food s ystem. Se cond, the s ystem must provide nut ritiou s meals to enable staff and students to achiev e opti mal health.  Finall y, the level of knowled ge about food securit y  is a key indi cator bec ause the knowledge level of th e comm unit y will influenc e food choices and purch as es .  A quali tative surve y di re cted at consume rs (Appe ndix B) can be used to as sess what ethnic foods are av ail able on campus and the level of sati sfacti on felt by its members. An assessment could also be used to determine the UBC Village vendors’ vie ws  (Appendix A) towards lo cal foods .  Overall , thes e surve ys will help to understand the beli efs and per cepti ons of the av ail abil it y and ac cessi bil it y the UBC Food S ystem.     8 Ecological Indicator  The ecolo gic al indicator selected is the dist anc e that food travels in kil ometers from the pla ce of producti on to the place of consum pti on (UBC ca mpus ).  It is worth not in g that if a certain food co uld be produced loc a ll y, but pro ducti on practi ces are not ecolo gicall y sust ainable, then our group does not s ee thi s as a viable alt ern ati ve to help incre ase the sus tainabil it y of the UBC Fo od S ystem .  We feel tha t UBC Food s ervices shou ld take steps to decr ea se food miles but considerat ion should also be given to the t ypes of producti on pra ct ices used to produc e the food.  It is  also  importan t for members of the UBC comm unit y to reco gniz e and be able to choose nut ritiou s and environmenta ll y friendl y produ cts.   In order to measu re the dist ance food has trav eled, our group has chos en a qu anti tative method for developi ng a food milea ge labeli n g s yst em.  Foo d miles can be measu red by usin g the Wei ghted Avera ge Sour ce Dist anc e equati on. Kilom eters tra veled b y a spe c ific menu items should be displ a ye d on the item or on the menu beside the item.  Economic Indicator As an economi c indi c ator, we select ed afford abil it y of nutrit ious foods and mone y sa ved from compos t materials divert ed from a land fill.  To measur e affo rdabil it y ou r group proposes to comp are the cost of simi lar foods in differ ent locati ons throu gh quali tative anal ysis , invol ving primar y rese arch.  For ex ampl e, we could co mp are the cost of a sand wic h from a downtown vend or to a sandwich from the Deli on campus .   To coll ect data to measur e the indicators our grou p designe d two surve ys. One was dir ected at  9 food service providers (Appendix A) which asses ses the wil li ngness to  alt e r their behavior in order to creat e a mor e sust ainable UBC ; the other was dire cted at UBC consum ers (Appendix B) which asses ses their will ingness to supp ort busi nesses that have made efforts towards a more sust ainable UBC.  The amount of mone y s aved from diverti ng compos table waste from the landfill could be measur ed b y weighting the truck loads of compost materials brought to UBC’s designated site, and then deter mi ni ng the amount of mone y it would have taken to tr an sport the materials to the dump in Delt a.  Background on Food Miles (Specific Task 1)  Befo re el aborati n g on the impacts of food milea ge and alt ernati ves to their measurement, some back ground is ne cessa r y for a bett e r understandin g of thei r definiti on and usefulness in assessi n g sust ainabili t y.  As was stated earlie r, food milea ge is the dist ance food tr a vels from wher e it is gro wn to where it is purch ased or consum ed (Piro g and Sc huh, 2002).  The cu rrent  method of measurem ent used by most inst it uti ons is through Wei ghted Av era ge Source Dist anc e (WASD), which combi nes the di stance from poi nt of origin to point of sale, and the amo unt of foodst uffs transpo r ted (Carlsson - Kan ya ma, 1997).  The formula for the WASD is: WASD  = (Σ m ( k ) x  d ( k )) ÷ (Σ m ( k ))  where:  k = diffe rent locati ons of the producti on ori gin,  m = amount consum ed from each loc ati on of cons umpt ion origin, and  d = dist ances from the locati ons of producti on ori gin to the point of consu mpt ion.   (Carls son - Kan yam a, 199 7)  This food mil eage measu rement ma y be adapted to calculate the amount of fuel use and gr eenhouse gasses emi tt e d in the dist ributi on of food.  By using th e infor mation of mil es traveled and  10 C O 2  emissi ons, consum ers can find out the sour ce s  of the food item, mode of transportati on, miles traveled, as well as relative environmental impact due to transport based on CO 2  emissi ons .  In a report by Piro g and Schuh (200 2) the y st ated that, put ti ng food milea ge on food l abels provides the  consu mer with direct knowled ge as to the environmental impact of their food and hel ps guide info rmed decisi ons in its purchase.    The idea that loc all y gro wn food is more fr esh an d tasti er than food that ha s traveled across the conti nent is another ben e f it of measurin g food miles.  The Rodale Insti tut e has stressed this idea; u sing food miles to measure th e freshn ess of food, whi c h is often of greater con c ern of the consum er.  The usefulness of food milea ge in the missi on for sust ainabili t y in food s ystem s seems to be more fo cus ed on consum er aw aren ess of the environmental impact of food choic es.  In thi s respect, the benefits of measurin g food milea ge and including it in labeli ng are far - rea chin g.  Presenti ng the univ ersit y with a dollar value of sav ings f rom reduc ed food miles wil l encoura ge poli c y and procedu re cha nges that will support this cause. Thus, while th e use of food miles ma y no t be a feasibl e me ans of measu r ing sust ainabili t y dir ectl y, the y give th e consum er the tools the y ne ed to make the righ t choi ce in pur cha sing more loc all y grown food.  This leads to an i ncreas e in the environme ntal and social sust ainabili t y of our food s ystem b y su pporting local agricult ure , reducin g the strain o f our food suppl y on the envir onment, and making con sumers mo re aw ar e of th e true cost of food.  Impacts of Distancing Consumers from their Food Source (Specific Task 2) The dist ancin g of consu mers from their food sou rce is repo rted to hav e se veral ne gati ve impacts  11 including: the disempow erment of consum e rs, damage to the environment and quali t y of food, as well as dama ge to the healt h of the econom y.  UBC reli e s on S ys co, Konin gs and Central Foods fo r the ma jorit y of their suppl ies (Brown, 2001).  These dist ributors mainl y rel y on foods from internati onal ori gin s, r esult ing in seve ral impl icati ons for our comm unit y.    Kloppenburg et al  (2001) states that our food “come from a global everywhere, yet from nowhere that people know in parti cular . ”  The spatial distancing results in a “distance of mind” (Lieblein, 2001) , which leads to poor de cisi on - making and an inabil it y to take acti on or devel op local init iatives (Kloppenburg, 1996 ).  Despit e UBC being an inst it ute of educati on, there seems to be ver y litt le knowledge about the foo d s ystem on campus .  How are comm unit y mem bers encou ra ged to act responsi bl y about their food choices wh en there i s litt le connecti on to the origins of their food?     In addit ion, high food tr a nsport has ne gati ve impa cts on the environment and on the food itself.  The trains, planes and au to mobi les used for transp ort releas e ca rbon diox ide and other harmful emis sions int o the air, which ar e linked to global warmin g (Raloff, 2003).  Also, ch eap subsi diz ed energ y lo wers the costs of fuel fertili z ers, pharmac euti cals, mach iner y, irri gati on, pack a gi ng and ref riger ati on.  These technologi es, if used in an ex ploi ti ve manner, can be environmentall y destr ucti ve (Kloppenbu rg, 19 96).   Not onl y does the enviro nment suffer, th e quali t y of food itself decli nes, to keep the food du rable during lon g transpo rt times sacrifi ces are mad e in terms of the palatabil it y and nutrit ional value.  As more people consum e pr ocessed foods man y artif icial flavors, colors, stabi li z ers, emul sifiers, sweet eners and prese rvati ves are in gested.    12 Finall y, hi gh food milea ge can be economi c all y da magin g, as farme rs re cei ve onl y tw ent y five cents of ev er y doll ar that their consum ers spend on food (Kloppenbu rg, 199 6).  The rest go es to processors, packa gers, sh ippers, advertise rs and re tailers.  Bu yin g locall y gro wn foods will help support local farm ers because so me of theses pro cesses wil l be eli mi nated (e. g. pac kers & shipp ers) and th er efore allow more of the money to go into the farmer’s pockets. Labeling of Food Miles (Specific Task 4) To all ow consum ers to m ake informed decisi on s about the food the y pu rch ase on campus , ou r group felt that a food lab eli ng s ystem, which disp l a ys the dist an ce a particu lar food item has trav eled , is necessa r y as it is the first acti ve step towa rds a mo re sust ainable food s yste m.  By using thi s labeli ng s ystem, consum e rs at the campus will gain a bett e r understandin g of origin of foods and the environmental impact of its transportation.  Our group has decided to use the ‘eco - labels’ also known as the ‘point of sale labels’ designed by norms from the Le opold Center fo r Sust ainable Agri cult ure (Appendix C).  The label is eas y to compreh end and includes a milea ge meter that estim ates the environmental impact of its transportati on.    The colour and s ymbol s cheme is desi gned to giv e consum ers a vis ual vie w of the quali t y of a certain item in UBC Foo d Services  in terms of ori gin of foods, mod e of tra nsportati on, miles travele d, as well as environmental im pact.  Gre en is an indi ca ti on of environmental fri endli ness, or an ge is mod erate, while red is used to indic ate a hi gh level of enviro nmental dama ge.  Sev er al eco - lab el ex ampl es suggested for use b y UBC Food Services menus are included in Appendix C.    13 Assessing Alternative Food Purchasing Options (Specific Task 5) The  most obvious way to reduce food miles wit hin the UBC Food S ystem is to encoura ge UBC Food Servic es to purchas e more locall y gro wn foo ds.  Although thi s ini ti ati ve sounds appeali n g, the re are some associated consequenc es includi ng: de cr eased produ ct avail a bil it y, increas ed price, possi bl e negati ve environment al impacts, and sociol o gical impli cati ons.  Sole reli ance on loc al foo ds means that there will be a decre ase in the varie t y of foods avail able to consum ers.  This is because the t ypes of foods that can be produced in a region is dictated b y lo cal environmental condit ions (i.e. soil and cli matic co ndit ions).  These enviro nmental lim it ati ons lead to a decre ase in the se asonal variet y of foods that can be produced.   Gener all y, the labor costs are much hi gh e r in Nort h Americ a when compar ed to a developi n g countr y.  This leads to higher producti on costs , which is reflect ed in the pr ice paid b y the consum e r.  Highe r producti on costs could also result if farme rs wer e for ced to diversif y their crops in orde r to meet the market demands o f a comm unit y which is rel ying solel y on locall y prod uced foods.  Typic all y, when a farm er diversifi es their crop, the y hav e to purch a se specializ ed equipm ent , and incorpor ate diff eren t producti on practi c es that increas e their cost s .  The main re ason for inc r easing th e purch asing of locall y produ ced foods is to reduce food miles and to mit igate the asso ciated ne gati ve environme ntal impacts .  Howeve r, locall y produ ced food does not necessaril y me an that it is produced in an ecol ogic all y sust ainabl e man ner .  BC Hot Hous e tom atoes, which are grown in a gre enhouse and have a la rge ecolo gical footprint, ma y com e from as close as Delt a  14 (approx . 30km from UBC).  Does thi s mean that these tom atoes should be purchas ed over other tom atoes gro wn in a mor e ecolo gic all y friendl y manner, but locat ed furthe r from UB C ?  Our group beli eves that steps shoul d be taken to de cre ase foo d miles, but considerati on shoul d also be taken int o the t ypes of producti on pra ct ices used to produc e the food.  Prefer ence shoul d be giv en to those produc ers who are inco rporati n g ec ologica ll y sust ainable far mi ng practi ces .       For the reasons af orementioned, our group has come to the cons ensus that the UBC Food S yst em cannot rel y on foods sol e l y purch ase  from local gr owers.  Rather we woul d like to s ee an incr ease i n the purchasin g of loc al foods .  UBC Food s ervices sh ould purchase loc all y gro wn foods when given the opportuni t y and pr efe ren ce shoul d be given to foo ds produced in an ecolo gicall y sust ainabl e manne r.  Strategies to Increase Consumer Awareness of Food Miles (Specific Task 7) W hen deali ng with a sp e cific problem such as foo d mileage, it is essenti al to raise aw aren ess of the curr ent situation and problem at hand.  Awar eness can provide consu mer s with the informatio n necessa r y to make edu cat ed decisi ons regardin g th eir food purch ases.  Our group has agr eed that ou r knowledge of food mile a ge was ve r y limi ted prior to taking Agriculture Sci ences 450.  This would lead us to beli eve that the gen eral population at UBC has ver y litt le or no knowl edge of food mile a ge and the impli cati ons it can have on the environment in which we live in.  We rec omm end that UBC Food Services implement a campus - wide campai gn to raise awa ren ess of this issue.  Developi n g p osters to be displ a yed near food estab li shments, bus stops, and bull eti n boards would help raise aw aren ess.  Thes e post ers would highli ght the major environment al and economi c al issues surrounding foods wit h high  15 food mileage.  To suppl ement the posters, p amph lets would be made av ail able that would provide more detailed ex planati ons of the impli cati ons of food miles, and would also ex plain the design ati on of foods that would proudly wear a ‘low - food - miles’ sticker.  Once the UBC population is informed about food miles, and is able to reco gniz e foods with low foo d miles, the y will be able to make informed decisi ons and pla y an aff ecti ve role in decre asing food milea ge at UBC.   Conclusion From the 2003/2004  wor king team proj ect, our gr oup has ch osen  the best model for measurin g the sust ainabili t y of the UBC Food S ystem and identif ied  three indi cators to assess the contribut ion of fo od mileage in moving towa r ds the sustainabil it y  UBC Food S ystem.  The cl ass of 200 4/2005 can no w assess the UBC Food S ys tem using the chos en indi cators and methods of measurem ent. Both qualit a ti ve and quanti tative questi onnaires will help to determ ine the comm unit y ’s per c epti on on food securit y.  We feel that impl ementati on of a food milea ge labeli n g s ystem will help to rais e awa rene ss to the memb ers of the comm unit y, and help to justi f y th e true cost of foods.  Furthe r res ear ch will need to  be conduct e d with  both  UBC and AMS Food Servic es to develo p an accurate data bas e  of the campus ’s food suppl iers and the locati on from wh ich  the f ood ori ginates.  After ass essm ent of the UBC  Food S ystem, steps can be taken to impl ement strate gies that wil l enable AGSC to bui ld the ideal sustainable Food S ystem .  This s ystem can be used as an ex ampl e for othe r comm unit ies  that wish to foll ow the path towards sust ainabili t y.       16    Work Cited :  Agriculture and Agri - Fo od Canada. (1999 ). Cana da Progress Report to the  Comm it tee on World Food Securit y in Impl em enti ng the World Summ it Plan of  Acti on.  Retrieved Ma rc h 3, 2004 from the World Wide Web:  www.a gr. ca/m sb/fsb/ summ ar ye .htm l   Brown, L. (2001). Bu yin g Mor e Local and Organic Food:  Predictin g the Costs and  Bene fits for the Alm a M ater Societ y Food Se rvic es.  The Al ma Mate r Societ y  Impa cts Comm it tee.   Carlsson - Kan yam a, A. (1 997). Weighted aver a ge s ource point s and dist anc e s for  consum pti on origin - too ls for environmental impact an al ysis . Ecological Economi cs, 23 , 15 - 23.   Feenstr a, G.W. (1997). Local Food S ystems an d S ustainable Communi ti es. American  Journal of Alternati ve Agriculture, 12 , 28 - 36.   Hart, M.  2000. Sustain able Measures. R etrieved Feb ruar y 27, 2004 from the World Wide  Web: htt p:/ /www.sust ainablemeasur Indic a tors/i ndex .html .   Kali na L. (2001). Chapt e r 1 -  Food Se curit y. Buil ding food se curit y in Cana da.  Kamloops, B.C.  Kloppenberg, J ., J . Hendrickson, G.W. Stevenson. (1996). Com ing int o the Foodshed.   Agriculture and Human Values, 13  (3), 33 - 42.   Lieblein, G.  (2001). Future Inter conne cti ons Am ong Ecolo gic al Farmers,  Processors,  Marketers, and Consum e rs in Hedmark Count y, Norwa y: Creati n g  Shared  Visi on. Human Ecolog y Review 8  (1), 60 - 70.   Loc al Food Chall en ge. (2003). Th e New Farm: Farme r - t o - Farm er Know - How from the  17  Rodale  Insti tut e.  Retrieved March 12, 2003 from the World Wide Web  http:/ / featur es/080 3/l ocalfoodc hall .sht ml   Piro g, R., and A. Benjam in. (2003). Checkin g the Food Odomete r: Com paring food  miles for local versus co nventi onal produce s ales to Iow a inst it uti ons . Ames,  Io wa: Leopold Cente r for Sustainable Agricult ur e.   Retrieved Mar ch 13, 200 4 from the World Wide Web:   http:/ / nfo/pape rsspee ches/food trav el072103.pdf .   Pirog, R. and Schuh, P. (2002 ). The Load Le ss Trav eled: Ex ami ning the Potential of  Using Food Miles in Eco labels. Proceedin g from Ecolabels and the Gre ening  of  the Food Mark et Conf erenc e.  Retri eved M arc h 11, 2004 from the World  Wide Web: pubinfo/pubi nfo.htm l#speech es   Raloff, J.  (2003). Lo cal Foods Could Make for Green er Groce rs. Scienc e News Online .  Retrieved Ma rc h 13, 2004 from the World Wide Web:    http:/ /www.sciencenews. org/arti cles/20030809/ fo od.asp      18  Appendix A  Questi onnaire – Food Se rvice Providers in the Vil lage and West 10 t h    1. Would you purchas e more fresh produc e from a local source if it could be grown in closer prox im it y to your busi ness?         2. If the capacit y to produc e food at UBC Farm were incre ased would you consi der purchasin g fr esh produc e from UBC Farm fo r sale at your establi shment?        3. Would you be will ing to enter int o a c ontra ctu al agr eement with UBC Fa rm to produce food for your bu siness?        4.  What t yp es of incent ives would you view as acceptabl e in increasin g your reli anc e on locall y produ ced food stuffs and supportin g a lo cal food econom y?        19 Appendix B Questi onna ire – UBC Consum ers   1. Do you know what food mileage is?      2. W hat are some of the ad vanta ges of fo od miles?      3. Would you bu y a loc al product (e. g. Apples) th at was more ex pensive than an imported product?      4. “A community enjoys food security when all peopl e, at all times, have ac cess to nutrit ious, safe, personal l y ac ceptabl e and cult ur all y approp riate foods obtained through normal food distribution channels” (Kalina, 2001) From this statement, how would you rate your food securit y?      5. Are ther e cult urall y  dive r se and approp riate foods avail able to you on campus?     6.  If you wish to add an yt hin g to the definiti on of food secu rit y or have an y comm ents, please use the space provid ed.     20 Appendix C  Exampl es of food labels           


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