the agritect

@VELD architect, southwestern Ontario

Archive for December, 2011

I will walk 500 miles … to get a glass of milk?

copyright Krista Duynisveld 2009

The diagram above illustrates the scale of milk production in Southwestern Ontario. Only 67 processing plants process all the milk in Ontario for delivery to grocery stores and your table. Imagine your neighbour is a farmer, even if this neighbour is just outside of town. Your milk travels at least 120kms to a processing plant and back to a grocery store even if that neighbour is merely 10km away!  For some of you reading this you may not even know a dairy farmer because you have no connection to him/her when you pick up your milk.

There are 254 milk trucks in Ontario (DFO, 2009) driving around everyday collecting milk and delivering to processing plants at least 30km away.  Not to mention to trip back to the grocery store and then to your house.  1 litre of milk will travel approximately 70kms to get to your table. Thats alot of food miles over a year, and a lot of oil used.

Is there a way to create a more local system of processing and connection back to the dairy farmer who lovingly gets up every morning to milk his cows?

Want to see more?  This work is part of my Master’s thesis.  Taken from a portion that looked at the various ‘ecosystems’ that made up the rural and farming culture of Southwestern Ontario.  Please check it out on page 38 of my thesis (please give it a couple of minutes to load).