Every day we make choices about the food we eat. Where we shop and what we buy influences the whole system behind food production. This food guide aims to make it easier for you to buy local and seasonal products.
Why eat local produce?
- To support your local economy – money spent on food grown and produced locally goes directly to helping local farm businesses.
- So fresh it exciting – buying from a farm shop, farmers’ market or pick your own means the food is fresher.
- Using produce within season reduces energy use – the British climate produces fabulous tasting fruit and vegetables but they aren’t available all year round. Buying directly will put you in touch with the best produce in different seasons.
- Reduce food miles – research has shown that choosing to buy locally produced food from a farm shop or farmers’ market reduces the carbon dioxide emission associated with food distribution by 99.8%.
- Reduce packaging – un-necessary food packaging accounts for a high proportion of waste in both costs and materials while buying directly from the farm or farmers’ markets can mean using less paper, cardboard and plastic.
- Reduce food waste – not just yours but the farmer’s too as a proportion of food grown for supermarkets is rejected as being the wrong size, shape or colour. Local farmers will include large, small and irregular shapes because that is how nature grows things.
- Buying direct from the farm can be an education- you can talk to the farmer about how the food was grown and reared and perhaps visit the farm either a regular farm shop or for special events and open days.
- Buying local foods direct gives you choice and varieties to try – maybe rare breed meats or different varieties of fruit and vegetables. There are hundreds of varieties of British apples, for example.