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The true cost of food

Food production has multiple impacts both on and off the farm. These can often be negative, such as the pollution of rivers, the emission of greenhouse gases, the spread of antibiotic resistance, the degradation of soil, the rise of obesity and the spread of disease. Yet none of this damage has featured in the balance sheet of farmers using chemical methods (for example, see box). Although these costs are not reflected in the price of food, consumers are paying in other hidden ways, such as through taxes, health care costs, pollution clean-up, water rates, as well as deferred costs including emissions causing climate change which will have to be paid for by subsequent generations. 

Title of publication: Farming Matters
Volume: 32.3
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ISSN: 2210-6499
Page range: 12-15
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Author: Patrick Holden
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Organization: ILEIA - centre for learning on sustainable agriculture
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Year: 2016
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Geographical coverage: European Union (European Union)
Type: Journal article
Content language: English
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