TheTimes reports a rather mindblowing story this morning on the death of local food.
Cod caught off Norway is shipped to China to be turned into filets, then shipped back to Norway for sale. Argentine lemons fill supermarket shelves on the Citrus Coast of Spain, as local lemons rot on the ground.
One of the problems stems from a law passed in 1944, in the middle of a war.
Under a little-known international treaty called the Convention on International Civil Aviation, signed in Chicago in 1944 to help the fledgling airline industry, fuel for international travel and transport of goods, including food, is exempt from taxes, unlike trucks, cars and buses. There is also no tax on fuel used by ocean freighters.
Until we start taxing aviation and shipping fuel, this ridiculous market distortion will continue. Because we do not factor the externalities of shipping food all over the world, the local farmer gets screwed and the carbon footprint of all our food increases.