It began with a debate
My family were eating dinner. My sister and father had fish, whilst my mother and I had vegetable fingers. I pointed out that their cod stocks are being heavily overfished and commercial fishing had a devastating impact on the environment.
My Dad said that was all very well, but what about the damage caused by the Mediterranean chickpeas and American haricot beans we were eating? The food miles would be in the thousands for each item on our plates!
How much of what is on your plate is actually local? We eat food from all over the globe without a second thought; bananas from India, sugar from Brazil, peanuts from China. It travels thousands of miles, often by air, to reach shops while it is still fresh.
The government estimates that food transport to and around the UK accounts for around 15 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year. That's more than the entire carbon output of several small countries!
I decided that for a week I will eat only British produce. This means no cane sugar, no tea or coffee (even Tregothnan tea, grown in Cornwall, is blended with imported Indian leaves), no peanut butter and a whole lot of label checking. Only things that are grown in the UK or made of 100% British ingredients are allowed.
I started on Thursday and found the challenge to be a lot harder than it sounds! I'll write more about the difficulties of it tomorrow!