Food For Future #7 – this is a local shop, for local people
HurryTheFoodUp is reader-powered. If you click through using links on our site we may earn a small commission at no cost to you.
Happy Friday, Food Rebels!
It turns out The League of Gentlemen might have been right all along.
Yep, Tubbs and Edward, the friendly, local store-keepers were very peculiar about serving locals.
Alright fine, they were inbred and nuts, but they got one thing right – buy local if you can!
As we covered in Food for Future #5, we can’t be perfect. But we can always do better.
I certainly include myself in that.
I do make very real, conscious efforts to reduce my CO2 footprint where I can – or at least I thought I did.
As I ran into the supermarket last Friday to grab a few apples for the weekend, I threw a Pink Lady (or three) into my basket. I didn’t look any further – the kids love them and they were fresh and crispy.
They were also from New Zealand, as I discovered when I arrived home. New Zealand!
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve no problem with goods from New Zealand. I’ve also no problem with buying imported things when they’re needed.
It’s not always realistic to get what you need locally.
Sometimes you have to buy from abroad. Sometimes what you need just isn’t available where you are, or the import quality is significantly higher.
But buying apples from New Zealand – 18,000 kilometres away from my Hamburg – when I live around the corner from 18 million fruit trees and one of the largest apple orchards in Europe?
I should be ashamed of myself. And I am.
At a rough estimate, shipping accounts for about 18% of air pollutants, and there are over 100,000 transport ships at sea – contributing to between 3.5% – 4% of all climate change emissions.
Other negative effects include devastating oil spills, as well as ballast water (carrying bacteria and viruses) being released into new or fragile ecosystems.
Also, to really rub imported salt into the wound, it seems the efficiency of the ships has actually been deteriorating since the 1980s. What the actual frog?
The ships are also striking and killing these whales, driving them to the brink of extinction.
It’s clear that something has to change.
Of course, it’s all well and good to swear off shipping completely – but is it realistic?
Take a look around you. So many things were probably made abroad and imported. In fact, if they’re technological, the components were probably all made in different places, shipped somewhere in the middle for assembly and then packed off again.
Unless we abstain from technology completely, it’s probably not feasible to only buy locally.
But that’s ok. It is this writer’s humble opinion that every single change we make, no matter how small, can have an impact.
Just paying a little extra attention to the food around us could make a massive difference.
Three apples from New Zealand? 18,000 kilometres away and shipped by sea? Let’s imagine I swap those apples for ones from just round the corner.
Now let’s imagine a million people do the same. Then ten million. Then a hundred million. You see where I’m going with this.
That’s a lot of apples. And that’s just one example. Imagine we all do the same for a few different foods each week.
It’s clear we can make a difference. So let’s do it.
Fruit for Future
Fruit Salad for Future!
More Fruit Salad for Future!
What difference can one individual make? A lot! Do your part, spread the word and we’ll get there! It might take a while, but every small step is still a step. We’ve got this!
By the way – to stay up to date with Recipes for Future just sign up for the email newsletter below and you’ll be first in line for all the latest news!
Last week we talked about the food industry being evil, and if that is true or not. You can see that argument right here.