With busy lives, we all know it can be easier to do a ¨one stop shop¨ at one of the big supermarkets, where we may or may not bother to look where the food has come from.
The buy locally movement is trying to change all that and encourages us to see the benefits that buying locally can bring, with just a little effort .
The question of how far the food has traveled to reach us raises environmental issues of course. Even if it is British grown it may have under gone lengthy road journeys to distribution centers and then out again .
In order to transport perishables , the food often has to be chilled to slow ripening and this undoubtedly affects the taste. Everyone has probably had the disappointment of bitting into a juicy strawberry from the other side of the world in mid winter which tastes of nothing. Locally grown food doesn´t need to have its ripening process or shelf life artificially controlled.
Locally grown produce, including meat is more likely to be organic and often offers unusual strains or breeds which can offer new taste experiences. What´s more there is a real pleasure in learning to appreciate what the different seasons bring us.
There are welfare issues here as well, as livestock has usually had the best possible care when reared in small concerns and if buying from a farm shop you can often see it for yourself in its natural state. Transport times to slaughter are also often much shorter too, which is a real plus.
If you buy from a farm shop or farmers market you will normally be faced with much less packaging, another environmental concern.
Finally, buying from local shops and farms and markets brings more money into the local economy instead of the multi national concerns and adds greatly to preserving rural communities.
So next time you see a sign offering local grown produce, go and have a look for yourself, it will be a guaranteed pleasure!