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 as 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's 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, though 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, as they refrain from using the chemicals used by conventional farmers."
So we moved over to free range farming, meaning 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 its best. However, I will say that I agree with buying local.
If all of us as bought local meat from a free range source, local vegetables that are in season or simply clothes made in the community, then 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 published an interesting article on buying local and what it would mean to our economy.
- Ideally use your local butcher, farm shops and/or farmers markets, but check that it's local meat first. If you do use a supermarket, look out for the red tractor logo.
- Refrain from shopping online too often as clothes and food will come from further afield. 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
Do you buy local? Let us know in the comments.