Cutting Down Food Miles Isn’t That Easy

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Two weeks ago I tried to make my first steps towards cutting down on food miles in my quest to go carbon neutral. I bought English apples from a nearby Co-op. They weren’t bad, a bit small and slightly soft but decent apples nonetheless. So I decided to continue in that vein, so when I did my weekly shop at my local Tesco’s I went looking for the apples supplied by British growers, there weren’t any (well there were some English cooking apples, but they’re not too good to eat) except some expensive organic apples sold in packs of four. Now I can’t afford to buy solely organic produce and more importantly I wanted five apples not four, and certainly not eight, also I don’t want to buy my fresh produce pre-packed as cutting down on packaging is also something that will help the environment.

As a result, on Saturday I thought that I would be good and buy my apples from the local market. After all we always told to shop at markets because they sell local produce and if I’m going to go carbon neutral then cutting down on food miles is going to be very important. Imaging my surprise when I opened up the paper bag only to find that the good English apples I thought I had bought were in fact flown in from New Zealand, exactly the same country as the apples I buy from the supermarket.

I was even more surprised when I went to the supermarket on Sunday afternoon to discover that they have a stock of
English grown apples. So my attempt to buy English apples ended in complete failure but all the other fresh produce I bought was definitely sourced in England, and bought from the supermarket. Which does leave me to wonder whether there is any point in raging against the ‘evil’ supermarkets, they seem to stock more locally (well British anyway) grown produce than the stalls at my ‘ethical’ market, and it is cheaper as well.