Wednesday, 7 March 2007

Local Food Shopping

Which is the most eco-friendly way to shop locally- do I walk to the shop in my village or do I drive to the nearest farm shop?
The food shop in our village while not one of the big supermarkets is part of a national chain. If I shop there I only buy fresh vegetables from the UK though they could still have travelled many hundreds of miles. The shop is just a half mile walk from home. The nearest shop to stock local foods is a farm shop about six miles from home and which aims to stock local food, grown or made within 35 miles if possible, maybe further afield at this time of the year but always UK.
Today, I had already shopped for the week and only wanted potatoes, some green vegetables ( to make a change from endless root vegetables) and a loaf of bread. So which would use the least fossil fuels, walking to buy food that may have travelled long distances to get to the shop or driving a total of 12 miles to buy just three items of locally produced food? Neither shop regularly stocks organic vegetables so that doesn't influence the decision.
Today was a sunny spring day and the walk won over the car trip but all the green veg came from Spain so I bought bread and potatoes and we ate parsnips from my allotment (again!).


BurdockBoy said...

That's a tough call. I guess if one was to buy a lot of veggies from the farm market that would be more worth it.

I am guilty of making up excuses to do other errands in an area where I would like to shop or go. It doesn't reduce the gas, but in my mind it made it a bit more worthwhile.

Good day to you.

littlejennywren said...

Doesn't it drive you insane sometimes. There seem to be so many things to consider, to justify when you just want a few essential supplies.

turnip said...

That is a tough call sometimes. The store here the stocks organic produce and local items is farther away then the local chain, probably by about the same distance you are talking about...I try to consolidate trips so I don't have to go often, having a small fuel efficient car helps too. (although in the UK I think you guys do alot better as far as cars and fuel mileage is concerned then here in the US!)
When we move in a couple of months, there are few stores in the area that carry organics so I may have to travel a bit. Again, I will use our small little car, consolidate trips. I am also starting a home garden. I think it is worth it for our familie's health at least.

willow said...

Thanks for the comments. You're right, I'm sure organisation and consolidating journeys is the key.

You guessed right about the car, I do drive a small car getting around 46-48 mpg, so less damaging to the environment than some cars but a bit of a squeeze now that both my teenagers are over six foot tall,(something I didn't really consider when I bought the car five years ago - they were still quite small then!).

The organic/non- organic is another dilemma, as here a large proportion of the organic stuff is imported. I understand that the soil association which certifies organic produce is considering not giving organic status to foods that have travelled long distances - for example organic apples from New Zealand.