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Food miles?

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Why do we import foods that are grown here? Seems we now have a scare about E-Coli in Spanish cucumbers, but I believe we've got one of the biggest cucumber farms in Europe - so why don't we start producing as close as possible to the point of consumption? :?

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I quote...

 

"The Food Standards Agency is monitoring the situation and stressed there was no evidence that any affected organic cucumbers from the sources identified were distributed to the UK."

 

and I edit and quote again :lol:

 

"Britain imports more than 5 per cent of its food from Spain. It is a particularly valuable source of tomatoes, lettuce and cucumbers"

 

I wouldn't want to be heading off to Spain or Germany on a plane in the school hols though ... it's contageous... take your antibacterial wipes and masks and watch who you sit next to around the pools wherever you are as these german's get everywhere :?:wink:

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I realise I appear to be having a sudden discussion with myself... BUT after reading Obs post I actually looked in my fridge and fruit bowl to actually see where the things have come from (something I've never bothered doing before) :oops:

 

My......

morrisons Celery comes from SPAIN

morrisons pears come from HOLLAND

morrisons salad/spring onions come from EGYPT

morrisons vine ripened cherry tomatos from ISRAEL

morrisons Fuji apples from CHINA

morrisons sweetcorn from the EU

morrisons oranges from SPAIN

co-op cherry tomatoes from SPAIN

my peppers are loose so I dont know

 

but my RED ONIONS are from NORFOLK UK :D

 

It was fun looking and I'm rather suprised at how many foreigners I have in my kitchen.

 

On another note I had a local farm/veg company deliver a fortnightly organic veg box to my door for some months ago. I was rather suprised that some of their produce was imported... reason was that they could not source/grow certain things over here. I understand that but it did sort of put me off :?

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How about lettuce or tomatoes though and of course germ..s :wink::lol:

ooooh I thought that was rather clever myself :oops::lol:

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For tonights dinner we had home grown new potatoes and spring cabbage. No miles and lovely

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Cheshire new potatoes - the best there is. They ran out of them in the Market Friday - fortunately I knew where else to get them! But if you compare individual food items - OK, there might be over/under sized spuds/apples etc that arn't attractively packaged as per the dictates of the s/markets - but I'm sure we can produce our own organic food, which hasn't been flown half way round the world to get here or has exploited some third world producer. Just had a quick check in the fridge: tomatoes, watercress from the UK, mushrooms from Eire; red chillis from Israel (tut tut). :wink:

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PJ. Do you have any spare..... I can supply the box :wink:

 

You do realise what you have done now Obs. I will be reading all 'produce of' labels and my family could starve. Where did you get your UK tomatoes from ?

 

This week I am going to try and buy UK only.. I wonder how I will get on :? Where do oven chips and beans come from :lol::wink:

 

I dont get why the UK can't grow and supply US (by 'us' I mean you and me ie people living in the uk.... rather that the united states) with the produce we want to buy.

 

If we can clone animals, grow stem cells and the like we can surely grow our own produce and that includes seasonal fruit and veg etc all year round.

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I'm sorry to have to bring reality in this buy British fest, but you can't complain about importing food from third world countries and, at the same time, complain about economic refugees from these same countries coming here. Surely we should be encouraging (and I don't mean throw Foreign Aid money at them) these people to build up the economies of their home countries and, as a result, stay there? The reality is that the world is shrinking. Live with it :wink::wink:

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If it comes to a choice between heating and lighting greenhouses all year round to provide what UK consumers want to buy, and sourcing the stuff from wherever it's naturally in season then transporting it to the UK, which do you think is better for the environment?

 

Clue: It takes a HUGE amount of energy to heat a greenhouse enough to grow tomatos and peppers in mid-winter.

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Errrm, not quite right Asp: have you never noticed that many of these third world countries are suffering from malnutrition, as they can't afford the food destined for our s/markets and farms are failing to concentrate on staple diets for home consumption or having land taken up to produce oil from rape seed. What third world Countries need, isn't handouts to cement their dependency on us, but the means to adopt the same self sufficiency that we should be striving for. :roll:

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Rubbish, as usual, Obs!

 

Countries which can't feed themselves DON'T export food. The quality of whatever they have got is simply not good enough for UK supermarkets to be interested in buying it.

 

Just look at Dizzy's list and compare it to your malnutrition argument.

 

morrisons Celery comes from SPAIN - not doing great economically, but not starving!

morrisons pears come from HOLLAND - don't hear a lot from the Dutch, but I doubt they're in need of Bob Geldof's services.

morrisons salad/spring onions come from EGYPT - not rich, not poor, but hardly starving.

morrisons vine ripened cherry tomatos from ISRAEL - fine, as long as you're not Palastinian!

morrisons Fuji apples from CHINA - managing to feed a fair old sized population of their own reasonably well, and busy buying up the rest of the world.

morrisons sweetcorn from the EU - I certainly ain't sending any more foreign aid there!

morrisons oranges from SPAIN - Seville oranges, perhaps? The clue's in the name.

co-op cherry tomatoes from SPAIN - obviously cherry tomatos are too small to be worth throwing at eachother.

 

We also get lots of strawberries, salad crops and cut flowers from Kenya - not a rich nation, but democratic(ish) and doing an ok job of feeding their own.

 

I really can't remember the last time I saw produce on the supermarket shelves from Ethiopia, Rwanda, Somalia, Zimbabwe - or, in fact, ANY country which is currently experiencing significant malnutrition or famine. In fact, in the case of Zimbabwe it was their insistence on kicking the big, industrialised, western style, professional farmers off their land which directly CAUSED their food shortages, rampant inflation, famine and poverty.

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One problem is that we no longer buy seasonal food. Everything is available all the year round(more or less) and we have been sucked into the system of buying it like that.

 

However, I am growing: Early potatoes (Arran Pilot), and Main crop (King Edward), Spinach, Broad Beans, French Beans, Runner Beans, Peas, Onions, Beetroot, carrots, Cauliflowers, Broccoli, Sprouts, and Parsnips.

 

Already had some of the spinach and the potatoes and carrots are just about ready.

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My point re the third world INK, is that their indigenous diet and needs are scewed in favour of producing for Western markets, and WE are sending "aid" to most of these countries either in cash or in the form of basic foods like flour and rice, to feed those who are in poverty and suffering malnutrition - and the point was made in response to the assertion that this uneccessary "trade" prevents migration. Moving on to the European suppliers - why do we import celery from Spain or pears from Holland, when we can produce such food here? Why do we transport sheep on the hoof to French slaughter houses for it to be sent straight back here on the next lorry as meat? Smoke and mirrors. The whole origin and basis of "trade" was an exchange of produce that couldn't be found in one country for those of another - this as now presumably moved on to cost - but the cost of transport implies a level of exploitation at the point of production in order to make it cheap at the point of consumption. :roll:

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Peter is right, the only way around this is for the average person to be prepared to eat seasonally available foods. They taste miles better than when they are forced under cover and heat and should be cherished for what they are. Sadly this will never happen as people want their strawberries in December etc.

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I never thought about then being force grown and the costs/implications. I'd be happy to just eat things when they are in season as to be honest I may actually value, enjoy and even eat them more as I wouldn't take them for granted. A bit like growing your own I suppose.. you value and enjoy what you have produced.

 

I wonder if veg and fruit would last longer too if it was grown here seasonally rather than being shipped half way across the world before it lands in out shops. I'm sick to death of buying fruit which goes off so quickly these days. Most of it seems to get thrown away in our house :?

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Dizzy, British apples are the best in the world, its a benefit of our climate. They are picked late summer/Autumn and if stored correctly will be fine through winter and spring (unrefridgerated). By April they won't look like the polywrapped imported apples but they will taste better. The drawback is it will probably cost more to produce things here which the supermarkets will never entertain. The organic food production in this country is already feeling the pressure of households having less money and therefore understandably going for the cheaper options.

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So we have gone full circle and back to organics... ie the organic cucumbers that started this thread and are killing people :wink:

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Cool... so where's your vegie plot so I can go and 'look' :wink:

 

I just had a cheese and lettuce barm... absolutely delicious and so much flavour. Lettuce was from my mother-in-laws windowsill (Woolston) curtosy of a Sainsburys 'gow you own' kit.

 

Picked an in my fridge withing 20 minutes.. beat that morrisons... but I wonder where the grow your own kit was packaged/produced :lol:

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Cool... so where's your vegie plot so I can go and 'look' :wink:

 

I just had a cheese and lettuce barm... absolutely delicious and so much flavour. Lettuce was from my mother-in-laws windowsill (Woolston) curtosy of a Sainsburys 'gow you own' kit.

 

Picked an in my fridge withing 20 minutes.. beat that morrisons... but I wonder where the grow your own kit was packaged/produced :lol:

 

Not to mention the cheese,bread and butter :wink:

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Not to mention the cheese,bread and butter :wink:

 

Shop bought barms made by a family run bakery called JG Fletcher in Wigan, cheese made by cows and from the UK (Preston), and butter (well marg) made by Dairy Crest in Shropshire :P

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Dizzy, when you visit your sister, I will give you directions. :wink:

 

Damn... can you bring me some back then instead :D

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