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Today’s food travels thousands of miles before it reaches customers


You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Present a written argument or case to an educated reader with no specialist knowledge.

Write about the following topic:

Today’s food travels thousands of miles before it reaches customers. Why is this?

Is this a positive or negative development?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

Sample Answer:

In today’s globalized world, the food we consume often travels thousands of miles before it reaches our plates. There are several reasons for this phenomenon, and it has both positive and negative implications.

One reason for the extensive travel of food is the demand for a wide variety of produce and products throughout the year. For example, consumers in the United States may desire fresh fruits and vegetables that are not in season locally, leading to the importation of these items from countries with different growing seasons. Additionally, the rise of international trade agreements and globalization has made it easier and more cost-effective for food to be transported across long distances.

Another factor contributing to the long journey of food is the consolidation of the food industry. Large multinational corporations often source ingredients and products from various locations around the world to maximize efficiency and reduce costs. This means that a single food item may contain components from multiple countries before it is packaged and distributed to consumers.

The extensive travel of food has both positive and negative implications. On the positive side, it allows consumers to enjoy a diverse selection of food products year-round. This can contribute to a more varied and interesting diet, as well as provide access to nutritious foods that may not be locally available. Additionally, the global food trade can benefit economies in developing countries by providing opportunities for agricultural exports and economic growth.

However, there are also negative aspects to consider. The long-distance transportation of food contributes to carbon emissions and environmental degradation. Additionally, the reliance on imported food can make local food systems more vulnerable to disruptions in global supply chains, as evidenced by the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In conclusion, the extensive travel of food is a complex phenomenon with both positive and negative implications. While it allows for greater variety and access to food products, it also has environmental and economic consequences that must be carefully considered. As consumers, we can strive to support local and sustainable food systems to mitigate some of these challenges.

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