Using the L in LOAF
We can use the acronym LOAF to help us buy food that is kinder to our planet. This month let’s think about the L in LOAF, which stands for ‘Local’.
The main reason to buy local is to reduce the energy used in transport.
It is also nice to know we are supporting our local farmers, and local will also be fresher and therefore more nourishing and tasty.
Air transport is particularly damaging, a whopping 100 times worse than moving things by sea. So refuse to be seduced by out-of-season fresh produce such as asparagus, mange-tout and strawberries as they have probably been flown here and are also likely to be using water that should be feeding the local population.
Don’t be fooled by the grown-in-Britain label for out-of-season veg, though. Growing in artificially heated greenhouses can be as bad as air freighting.
The best way to buy local is to buy seasonal. In our household we try to avoid salad, tomatoes, strawberries etc. during the winter, preferring to eat chicory, cold-slaw, apples and chutneys. When the summer comes we can really appreciate those first strawberries and tomatoes of the season.
When buying staples like flour and sugar, try to buy British, so look for British beet sugar rather than cane.
And of course the most local food, with zero food miles, is what we grow in our own gardens.
Read more about LOAF at www.greenchristian.org.uk