Most consumers do not understand today’s highly complex global food system. Much of the food production and processing occurs far away from where they live and buy groceries. External environmental and community costs related to the production, processing, storage, and transportation of the food are seldom accounted for in the food’s price, nor are consumers made aware of these external costs. Examples of external environmental costs are the increased amount of fossil fuel used to transport food long distances, and the increase in greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the burning of these fuels.
Pirog, Rich S.; Van Pelt, Timothy; Enshayan, Kamyar; and Cook, Ellen, "Food, Fuel, and Freeways: An Iowa perspective on how far food travels, fuel usage, and greenhouse gas emissions" (2001). Leopold Center Pubs and Papers. 3.