Should I be Buying Local to be Sustainable?
This is a massive topic which I'm slightly scared to blog about because it's such a controversial issue at the moment.
Let's start from the beginning...
A little about me (Anna) I grew up on a farm where unlike most people I did give a second thought as to where my meat came from because I was seeing it first hand. Most school children who visited our farm were amazed when you pull a carrot out the ground and show them that that is where it actually comes from. Children, especially city children, struggle to make this connection between field and folk. So when it comes to eating meat this can be even more of a shock.
Unlike a majority of people who live in cities where education about eating meat currently comes from dramatic documentaries like 'Cowspiracy' I learnt first hand on the farm. I don't in anyway want to disregard these documentaries as they do highlight a problem in our society but what most people forget is that we can be sustainable by keeping it local.
Our farm started out as an organic farm, which means that no pesticides (chemicals) are used in growing the vegetables or feeding the animals. We wanted to keep things as natural as possible, sadly this wasn't sustainable because people in Scunthorpe couldn't afford to buy Organic. Organic is more expensive because:
"it takes more time to produce crops because they refrain from using the chemicals used by conventional farmers."
So we moved over to free range farming, we kept our animals outside where they were free to roam and have a happy life.
I won't lie and say that I agree completely with free range farms, I think as a society we give our pigs too short of a life span but sadly we kill them when the meat is at it's best. But I will say that I agree with buying local.
If all of us as bought local meat from a free range source, local veg that's in season or simply clothes made in the community. We would:
- Boost the local economy
- Reduce air/road miles
- Support British farmers so that we can become more sustainable as a country
The Guardian have wrote an interesting article on buying local and what it would mean to our economy.
- Ideally use your local butchers, farm shops and farmers market but check that it is local meat first. If you do use a supermarket check for the red tractor logo.
- Refrain from shopping online as often clothes and food will come from further a field, take a nice walk on a weekend to find your local market and meet new local people!
- To find your local farmers market look at FARMA