Over the past year I have become increasingly aware of where my food comes from. Where does our food come from? I went to the supermarket today and spotted satsumas from Uruguay, peppers from Chile, potatoes from America, bananas from Columbia, apples from South Africa and kiwis from New Zealand. Even my local farmer’s market imports a lot of it’s produce from far off lands.
It makes me feel so uncomfortable thinking about the air miles of my food, not to mention the probable lower nutritional content, what it’s been sprayed with and how long ago it was picked. There is of course the argument that these poorer nations need our custom, but in the back of my mind I can’t help thinking that if we didn’t use their agricultural space they’d be able to grow food for the millions starving in their own country. It’s all so confusing.
When I was younger my Mum would use a trip to the supermarket as a teaching opportunity (brave woman). She would talk to us about how the food grew, what colour it was, the shape and whereabouts the country is located.
I would say that about 70% of our food shop is fruit and veg so it feels appropriate that I should try and reduce our family’s impact on the environment. A few months ago I decided to really try and only buy fruit and veg that is grown within Europe, so at least the food miles are drastically reduced – I’m working on getting around the other issues, and sticking within our food budget. I came back with potatoes from Holland, lettuce from the UK, celery from the UK, strawberries from Spain, courgettes from Spain, broccoli from Holland, oranges from Spain, spinach from the UK and pears from Holland. Makes me feel much more at ease.
Understandably, organic produce is usually grown much closer to home as it’s not sprayed with harsh preservative pesticides. I did try for a few months getting organic fruit and veg boxes delivered from company Abel & Cole but with no amount of money jiggling could I keep within our monthly food budget. The other big organic delivery company in the UK is Riverford’s. Both Abel & Cole and Riverford’s can deliver all manner of organic food produced close to your home – milk, bread, cheese, smoothies,chocolate etc.
There really is no denying that organic food tastes much more delicious than it’s non-organic equivalent…particularly tomatoes, berries and carrots. My husband remembers the special moment he tasted the most gorgeous blood oranges in the world – they really were divine. In the meantime, I will eagerly look forward to a pay rise and the day my fridge is rammed with organic fruit and veg! Paradise!