What is Food Miles?

Food Miles refers to the distance food travels from where it is grown to where it is ultimately purchased or consumed by the end user. To be more exact, Food Miles also includes the distance of food production and distribution of each food ingredient.

 Why Food Miles and Air are linked?

Food delivery relies on transportation. Nevertheless, pollutants will be emitted during the process of transportation. Take Hong Kong as example, approximately, there are 277,100 tons of food being imported into Hong Kong every day and employing 140 transportation vehicles. This results in the emission of nearly 2000 kg nitrogen oxides on a daily basis. In retrospect, our choice of food is one of the reasons causing air pollution.

How Food Miles affects health?

In average, air pollution causes 5 premature deaths per day in Hong Kong. Vehicle emissions like nitrogen dioxide (No2) and suspended particulates (PM2.5) have a direct impact on our respiratory system and brain.

What can we do to reduce food miles and roadside air pollution?  

Using local food materials can reduce food miles at global level. Hong Kong should also focus on one of the biggest public health crisis locally – unsafe roadside air pollution.

  • Reduce the use of motorized vehicle.
  • Walk and bike after each meal can help to stay healthy and contribute to healthier air.
  • Reduce online shopping and courier services.
  • Restaurants and food logistics can prioritize to use cleaner and fewer vehicles to transport goods to protect health of drivers and other vehicle occupants.
  • Click here to sign petition to curb vehicle growth and reduce roadside air pollution.
Story posted on
21st Apr, 2017

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