I recently saw a sign that said ‘Think Global, Eat Local’ and it really got me thinking again about how far I am prepared to go with eating locally sourced produce. You see, in all honesty, I am more than happy to source my food locally…..as long as it suits me! So, this sign proved a challenge to me!
I absolutely love, love, love my local green grocers. As well as lots of local fresh produce, they stock lots of Suma whole foods and Fair trade products. They also stock some fabulous ethnic food produce such as Thai sweet chilli sauce, Vietnamese wraps, Japanese noodles, coconut milk, and so on. And, when I thought about it, I realised that this products have actually travelled far and wide, but I still buy them! The fact is, I love my food, and I love to try new things. I also love to travel and explore different cultures. For me, cooking and eating is an adventure, and it’s one of my greatest passions. Without it I would feel a little empty, and so I have resigned myself to knowing that I will probably always choose these global products from the shelf and I am not going to beat myself up over it. Afterall, I make choices everyday that mean that comparatively, our family are consuming far less globally produced food that the average Brit.
We can all make small choices that add up to make a big difference. I know I am a very small fish in a very big pond, but I will not let that mean I stop thinking about my actions and the consequences of them. I do not stand on my high-horse, judging those who do, or do not do, the same as I do – we all have freedom to make our own choices, and who’s to say that the ones I make are better than my neighbours’! However, if I could put out a small plea to the world, I would ask for people to consider ‘in what area of food consumption are you going to choose to make a small difference?’
You see, my first small choice is that I now choose to do the majority of my fruit and vegetable shopping at my local green grocers rather than the supermarket (ok, so I really am aware of just how much of a teeny tiddler-type fish in an Atlantic sized ocean I am here, but if everyone thought that then no one would every stand up to make a change and revolutions would never happen). For me, shopping at my local grocers is usually more cost-effective and convenient that going to the supermarket, so it also benefits me. And once at my green grocers, I can then, for instance, choose to buy potatoes sourced from the field down the road, from a field 100 miles away, or from a field in France. I know no-one is going to suddenly keel over (I hope!) if I purchase the potatoes from France, but in choosing the local potatoes, I feel I am not only doing my bit for the world in reducing my carbon footprint (by reducing my food miles), but I am also helping to put a smile on a local farmers face, and lets face it (no pun intended), we really need to do all we can in the current financial climate to support our local producers and local economy. So, I guess what I am trying to say is, please don’t think that you are too small to make a difference when it comes to sourcing food locally. Every little decision makes a difference. And even if, like me, there are some products you can’t live without, how about supporting a local seller and buy from a local independent retailer rather than a chain store?! As one small voice once said “every little helps”!!