Wednesday 24 February 2010

Low Carbon Loves Part 3

My third Low Carbon Love is my local farm shop. It's the same one Jane has mentioned in her posts: The City Farm Shop at Notcutts. But I'd never looked at this price board.

Reading and learning about food and the way it impacts on our global, social and personal health, I decided I needed to change my habits. I was particularly shocked to read that we now spend less of our income on food than ever before: just 10% on average.

Food is probably the only thing I buy that I couldn't live without- and if I followed the national trend, I was spending less than a tenth of my money on it. That couldn't be right. I did some maths, and realised I was spending quite a bit less than the 10%.

This felt like the first thing to change, so I re-jigged my budgets and resolved to stop looking for the cheapest option. I next decided to start buying all my fruit and veg from the farm shop. That should ensure that what I buy is local and seasonal. And of course, it would be more expensive, but I was prepared to accept that. But it's not. I spend no more on veg than I did before.

Of course, it's less convenient. I have to make two shopping trips
instead of one, and yes sometimes it's a bind. But this is food. The stuff we can't live without. I think it's worth a bit of extra hassle.

And alongside the hassle come the nice surprises. It's nice getting to know the staff at the shop, becoming a regular. The food is tasty and It's super easy to eat seasonally. Everything is labelled, so if it says 'grown in Spixworth', I know it's in season, here, now. I don't have to write lists of which veg I'm planing to buy anymore. I just buy what there is, what looks best. If it's kale, it's kale Mornay for tea.

If I really crave something different, I might very occasionally pick up a pepper from Holland or an aubergine from Spain, but at least I know what I'm doing. Supermarkets have Broccoli from Spain in the middle of the English broccoli season, and asparagus from Peru all year round. Faced with all that I didn't know how to eat seasonally.

Shopping at the farm shop has changed the way I plan my meals, the way I cook and the things I cook. I've started re-filing all my recipes by season. I would never have guessed it would be this easy, this cheap or this interesting to cook seasonally.

I'm really pleased that the farm shop is there- I get locally produced food at an affordable price- and I feel like I'm supporting something worthwhile.

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