• Home
  • 3. Eat seasonal and local – Did you know?

3. Eat seasonal and local

Did you know…

The agriculture sector contributes to over 24% of greenhouse gas emissions. We grow our fruits and veggies, fertilize them, and then it is also transported to the POS where we finally buy them. Wholesalers buy the products available on the market and stock them in our supermarkets. The important part is to consider where your products are coming from. Do you really need to eat strawberries flying across the globe because they are not in season where you live?

We all have the power to decide what we actually buy when we are doing our weekly grocery shop.

But what exactly does seasonal and local mean?

This means purchasing and eating only those products that have been grown and produced in your own region and during the current season.
The result is to eat products that have the shortest distance between production and consumption. Eating local and seasonal products will not only contribute to lower greenhouse emissions, but you also support your local farmers, shops and economy.

Local food is better compared to food transported by air but comparing local food produced off-season using a greenhouse with food transported by ship, local food is probably not the best option.

Vegetable and fruits grown in heated greenhouses produce three times higher carbon emissions compared to open field production. It is actually better to purchase imported tomatoes grown in Spain and imported via ship, rather than local Australian tomatoes that are grown in the off-season in a heated greenhouse. Always think about the seasonal aspect when buying local. 

Eat seasonal before organic

What’s the difference between seasonal and organic? Organic food is the product of a farming practice that eludes the use of artificial fertilizers, pesticides, growth regulators and livestock feed additives. 

Eating organic is certainly good because it is one part of being sustainable. However, it does not consider if the food is being stored over months and how it is being transported. Eating seasonal and local usually eliminates storage and transportation costs.

Emission factors for freight by transport mode

Transport mode

Ambient transport (kg CO2 eq per tonne-km)

Temperature-controlled transport (kg CO2 eq per tonne-km)

Road Transport


0.2 to 0.66

Rail Transport



Sea / Inland Water Transport



Air Transport



What can you do to eat seasonal and local?


Macdiarmid, J. (2014). Seasonality and dietary requirements: Will eating seasonal food contribute to health and environmental sustainability? Proceedings of the Nutrition Society,73(3), 368-375. doi:10.1017/S0029665113003753

Poore, J., & Nemecek, T. (2018). Reducing food’s environmental impacts through producers and consumersScience, 360(6392), 987-992.

Smith, L.G., Kirk, G.J.D., Jones, P.J. et al. The greenhouse gas impacts of converting food production in England and Wales to organic methods. Nat Commun104641 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-12622-7

Theurl, M.C., Haberl, H., Erb, K. et al. Contrasted greenhouse gas emissions from local versus long-range tomato production. Agron. Sustain. Dev. 34, 593–602 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13593-013-0171-8

Copyright © 2023. Go Climatarian.
All Rights Reserved.