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These fruits and vegetables that come from afar

 Every day, find the green thread, the meeting environment of Release. Today, the green graph.

You may not know it, but you ingest about 2.4 kilos of food (solid and liquid) every day. These are the average figures given for a French or French recalled in a recent report produced with the support of ADEME, which compiles several studies. We also learn that one-third of these solid foods are of animal origin and two thirds are of plant origin (cereals, fruits or vegetables).

More precisely, according to ANSES data (2008 INCA study) included in the study, a French consumer daily ingests 182 grams of vegetables and potatoes, in addition to 70 grams of soups, and 132 grams of fruit. The same study conducted in 2017 (INCA2) stated that vegetables, like the rest of the diet, are increasingly consumed in processed form. Moreover, the consumption of sandwiches, pizzas or others was increasing.

74% of table grapes are imported

With regard to fruit and vegetables (more than 4 million tonnes were imported into France in 2006), the imported share is variable. However, "Fruit and vegetables and fish and shellfish are the products with the highest import share, whether fresh, frozen or processed", points the report which is based on a study of the Technical Center serving the fruit and vegetables sector of 2015. Some, including citrus fruits or bananas, are not produced in France, and must automatically make a long journey before arrive on our stalls.

In 2007, in another report, ADEME stated that Colombia's bananas travel more than 9,000 kilometers to reach France and insisted that "Compared to the transport by boat, the plane transport of a banana from Colombia [beaucoup moins fréquent, ndlr] consumes 20 times more energy and emits 50 times more greenhouse gas ».

When we extend the observation to the most consumed fruits and vegetables we observe that between 40% and 50% of tomatoes, cucumbers and zucchini come from abroad. And if apples are mainly produced in France, this is not always the case for other fruits. 39% of pears, more than 40% of peaches or nectarines, and 74% of table grapes are imported.

Logically, all these products that come mainly from Spain and Morocco, but also from the Netherlands or Belgium are less imported during the peak production season than in winter. As stated in the report, the peak of fresh fruit imports is in December, when it reaches 300 000 tonnes of goods. According to Ademe in 2007, we must nevertheless remain vigilant to other criteria since, for example, "The transport to France of a ton of tomatoes produced in Belgium consumes 12 kg of oil equivalent. Heated greenhouse cultivation (in winter mainly) consumes nearly 950 kg of oil equivalent, 80 times more ".

Aurélie Delmas

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