Why we should all go native…. erm or rather GO LOCAL!

Dont panic… you wont have to wax your legs and break out the grass skirt.

As part of our ongoing experiment into whether WW2 rationing would benefit modern families, it had always (since we started) been on the agenda to learn more about locally produced vegetables and fruit.

During war years the majority of your veggies would have been grown LOCALLY. Whether it was in a communal garden or in your own back yard. This would, of course, been harder in built up areas, where green area were few and far between.

‘When WW2 started in 1939, Britain imported 20 million tonnes of food per year. This included 50% of its meat, 70% of its cheese and sugar, nearly 80% of its fruits and about 70% of its cereals and fats. With shipping being attacked, imports became few, this being a bid by the enemy to starve the nation into submission.’ http://rationingrevisited.com/what-was-in-a-ration/

We all remember the great BUY ORGANIC phase everyone went through… and it was GREAT until we realised we were paying £3 for 59pence worth of carrots. Isnt BUY LOCAL the same book in a different cover?

With such excitement and momentum building in the local food movement, the New Oxford American Dictionary chose locavore as its word of the year in 2007.”  http://www.sustainabletable.org/issues/eatlocal/ 

Britain currently imports about a third of all its foods today. This is because our climate does not allow us to grow allot foods we’ve become accustom to. More affluent societies, like the UK, have escaped from the effects of seasonality and food availability because of cash flow and imports… which are often cheaper than growing the food ourselves.
The Independent put it perfectly…”Air-freighted fruit and vegetables are a bad habit that our supermarket chains have cultivated among British consumers. They have actively encouraged the idea that it is entirely reasonable for us to expect to be able to buy every fruit and vegetable produced anywhere on the planet, 365 days of the year.”
Flying your strawberries from chile [ to a well known local supermarket near you] is a wonderful device to buy cheap and sell at a healthy profit.
Do you know what mileage your food does to reach you…. because I havent got a clue. The diagram below gives you a brief [rather shocking] idea.  The UK is currently only 61% self-sufficient…. which I find slightly scary… yes I know, its allot better than in the 30’s… but still… 30% is a big number.
There are soooooo many reasons why you should GO LOCAL [need my own T-shirt ]….
  • Taste and freshness
    Local food is fresher and tastes better than food shipped long distances from countries. When buying local youre picking better quality and taste over a longer self life.
  • Strengthening your local economy
    Buying local keeps money circulating in your community. Good for farmers/ grocers and good for you.
  • You’ll be supporting your local farms
    Every time you BUY LOCAL you ensure that more of your money spent on food goes to the farmer. Every little bit helps.

    “A recent study in Maine shows that shifting just 1% of consumer expenditures to direct purchasing of local food products would increase farmers’ income by 5%. Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) estimates that by encouraging Maine residents to spend just $10/week on local food, $100,000,000 will be invested back into farmers’ pockets and the Maine economy each growing season.” http://www.foodroutes.org/buy-local-challenge.jsp

  • Your family’s health
    Knowing where your food comes from and how it is grown or raised enables you to choose safe food from farmers who avoid or reduce their use of chemicals, pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, or genetically modified seed in their operations.
  • Protecting the environment
    Local food doesn’t have to travel far. This reduces carbon dioxide emissions and packing materials. Buying local food also helps to make farming more profitable and selling farmland for development less attractive.

Now that we’re going to be ‘eating local’ [veggie/ fruit wise… meat may take some more research first] we have to consider whats in season… but that’s another post 😛



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