Saturday, 20 July 2013

The Benefits of Buying Local

A whopping 13% of the UK’s fossil fuel consumption goes on packaging and transporting food. To transport one calorie of carrot into the UK takes 68 calories of air fuel, a fact made more depressing when taking into account all the gardens and allotments of Britain that blossom with carrots every year.  

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As we all know, small scale producers struggle to compete with the supermarkets– but buying local benefits the countryside, wildlife, local economy and environment. As well as increasing social connections between urban and rural communities, it can give buyers a sense of an environmental connection as well – knowing where and how the food has been grown, rather than consuming a product that is packaged and transported in a way that damages the Earth.

All in all, buying local – or even growing fruit and vegetables at home – comes at a far lower environmental cost than succumbing to the bright packages on the supermarket shelf.

If you want to make a change, one of the best community supported agriculture (CSA) schemes in the country is just on our doorstep. Canalside Community Food, based just outside of Radford Semele, produces weekly veg shares in a range of sizes suitable for different households. Fruit shares are now also available. All produce is grown and harvested with the help of the project’s members, who get to enjoy a great sense of community spirit on top of locally grown organic food.

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By Sam Elvyhart, Action 21