Eating local food
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We have a fantastic Change the World Wednesday challenge this week.
Reduce footprints has asked us to find and enjoy local foods for a month. We have to research what items are local in our area and then incorporate them into our family meals.
This ties in beautifully with something that has been on my mind a lot recently – the future of our food security.
I’m not thinking about this in a negative way at all; au contraire! I’m approaching things from a positive angle – I’m thinking about how I can increase the amount of fresh, local and seasonal food I eat, reduce my carbon footprint and become more self sufficient.
To be honest it seems unthinkable to eat local food at the moment and I greatly admire locavores; it is, after all, the most natural and healthy way to eat. I’ve grown up with the luxury of being able to buy what I want from where I want. Bananas from the Caribbean islands? No problem! A craving for strawberries in December? Import them from the other side of the world! Rice? Buy it in from India.
As a vegetarian, the locality of my food is something that is on my mind a lot. Whereas Mr Green and Little Miss Green can buy and eat local meat, my rice and lentils come from Asia. In addition Mr Green and Little Miss Green can buy unpackaged food, whereas most of mine comes in plastic bags.
For today then, I’m going to record what I eat and where it comes from. In a months time I’ll revisit this post after spending time checking out local food and see if I can eat for a day from my local area!
Porrage made with oats and soy milk served with yogurt and stewed apples and blueberries
Oats – Cheshire in the UK (150 miles away)
Soy milk from China or Brazil (5,500 – 6000 miles)
Yogurt from Wales (100 miles)
Apples from a UK orchard (10 miles)
Blueberries from the US (3500 miles)
Verdict: I’m giving myself 7 / 10 for breakfast. Apart from the apples I couldn’t eat anything else without transportation, but at least 3 out of 5 ingredients are from the UK and one is so close I could get to without a car. I guess ‘local’ is open to discussion too; how far is local when it comes to food?
Tinned apricots from South Africa (6000 miles)
Yogurt from Wales (100 miles)
Verdict: 5/10 Hmmm, those apricots suddenly taste of oil
Jacket potato with red lentils, baked beetroot, broccoli and carrots
Potato – local UK farm 5 miles
Red lentils – Turkey (3000 miles)
Beetroot – local UK farm 15 miles
Broccoli – Spain (1000 miles)
Carrots – UK farm – 100 miles
Verdict 6/10 If I can source some UK broccoli (which I probably can) then I could easily reduce the air miles on this meal.
Buttered rice with avocado and kale
Rice – Himalayas (4500 miles)
Butter – UK (100 miles)
Avocado – USA (3500 miles)
Kale – local UK farm 5 miles
Verdict 5/10; a simple meal with so few ingredients and a huge footprint…
Well it seems I’ve clocked up about 28,000 miles just to eat today. When you consider I’ve given up long haul flights as part of my commitment to a sustainable lifestyle, this has been a real eye opener.
What about you – do you eat locally? Any tips to share?
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