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Reaping the Rewards of Buying Local Food

It might be easier to get in the car and pop to the supermarket, but supporting local independent food and drink businesses can make the world of difference according to LocalFoodSurrey.com 


Get Fresh!
Local food tends to be fresher, especially if you buy it from a farm shop or local store where the producer has delivered directly, as opposed to the food traveling many miles to a central distribution depot, which is usually the case with supermarkets.  Caroline Davies, a Reigate farmer who hand makes ice-cream at her St Joan’s Farm Dairy, in Leigh, Surrey, uses only milk and cream from her own cows. “We could easily buy it in, but instead we milk in the morning and turn it into ice-cream by the afternoon,” says Caroline. “Not many ice-cream producers can say that and we feel it makes for a much better product.”
Getting back in touch with British food seasons can not only save food miles but money too; out of season fruit and vegetables can cost you more. Shopping for food in season gives you a better idea of your own regional identity and can be a great way to meet local farmers and growers.  It’s also worth seeking out farms that offer “pick your own”.  Sadly, these are in decline, due to the unpredictability of the business, but there are still quite a few going strong. Don’t expect your “pick your own” harvest to be cheap as chips though – you may even end up paying a premium, but you are guaranteed the freshest pickings and an hour or so of good country air.

Support your Local Economy – and the Environment!
It’s said that for every £10 spent in an independent shop, £25 is generated for the local economy, so it pays to shop locally. According to the National Farmers' Retail & Markets Association (FARMA), buying locally produced foods from a farm shop or market, for example, can help reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emissions associated with distribution by up to 99.8 per cent. And your food is less likely to be swathed in plastic and other unnecessary packaging.

You can also Save Money. 

Independent research conducted by Deliciously Yorkshire, the regional food group for Yorkshire and Humber, found that vegetables such as baking potatoes and tomatoes cost about a third less, and leeks were on average 14 per cent cheaper at farm shops compared with supermarkets.  You may also be saving on fuel!

It’s much easier to play a part in local life, find out about events and news and make friends with people in your neighbourhood if you shop in your own town or village.  So, grab your basket and help us fly that flag for local!
Sponsored article by www.LocalFoodSurrey.com – follow them on Twitter @localfoodfinder

1 comment

  1. All very good points! It's interesting that you use the term "getting back in touch" when referring to local food seasons. It's sad that so many of us have no idea what's actually in season at any moment, because the grocery stores push imported produce year round. In fact, it's not unusual to see them selling imported produce at the same time that the same thing is available locally (and as you say, sometimes the imports are cheaper). The more people demand local produce, or actively purchase it over imported, the better!


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