Eating local is a good idea, as it can reduce emissions due to transportation, but there are many other factors at play, and research done by Oxford University found that almost all plant foods were better for the planet than almost all animal foods, and even the most sustainable dairy was worse than the least sustainable soy milk.1
It’s certainly not as simple as local=good and imported=bad. Besides, unless we grow or produce our own food, we have to trust labels, and they can be very misleading. Most grass-fed beef labeled ‘product of USA’, for example, is actually imported.2
Many vegans do eat some imported foods, the same as everyone else. But because the impact of their food on the planet – on deforestation, pollution, climate change and species loss – is minimized, this is still less problematic than eating meat. That’s why Oxford University concluded that going vegan was the single biggest thing that we as individuals can do for the planet.3
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