Last Updated: Wednesday, July 22, 2020

The environmental impact of food miles - secondary

What is this?

This learning activity is suggested to help you support your child to understand that all foods travel a short or long distance to reach our plates. Some of our food is grown in Scotland, or comes from animals reared or caught in Scotland. Many other foods travel much further to end up on our plates.

  • You could either gather a selection of foods from your store cupboard, fridge, freezer or fresh fruit and vegetables or you could look at pictures from magazines, recipe books and other publications. Can you identify which ones come from Scotland and which are imported from other countries?
  • Look at the foods that come from outside Scotland. What can you find out about the environmental impact of food grown locally compared with food that has travelled a long way?

Here are some questions you could think about: 

  • Do we think about the different seasons when buying foods?
  • Do foods, which come to us from other countries, cost more?
  • Has the ability to import so many different foods influenced our eating habits?
  • What information is available to help make decisions about the environmental impact of food miles?
  • Could you access a map to help you trace where food has travelled from to your home?

Do some research to find out how consumers are influenced by external sources. Examples of external sources might be social media, advertising or product placement in supermarkets.

How does this and other factors affecting food choice and impact on people’s health? Think about different groups of people - babies, toddlers, children, teenagers, young adults, adults, pensioners, people who are active/inactive etc.