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Why everyone should eat local

Why everyone should eat local
From single-use packaging woes to your nutritional intake, there’s lots of different reasons people start eating greener and shopping at their local market. From considerably fresher fruits and vegetables to supporting local agriculture, there’s more than one good reason why everyone should eat local.

According to the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) one of the greatest reasons to buy local is that it supports local farmers and producers, as well as the local economy in general.

“Whether you buy direct or at a local outlet you’re providing a market for local producers where they can get a fair price.

“Our own research shows local food can support hundreds of jobs at outlets, even in small towns, and this in turn supports producers in your area. This means the money you spend automatically circulates again locally and at least 2 to 3 times, boosting prosperity.”

On a smaller scale, if you buy local produce you are helping a much smaller and more traditional mix of farms continue to trade in an increasingly competitive farming industry. “This keeps the countryside more diverse,” says the CPRE. “Especially where it has been shaped by centuries of farming traditions, and so protects the landscape character. Your local food might also be organic, which can help look after the soil and boost local wildlife.”

One of the other great reasons for eating locally is because of how environmentally-friendly it is. The CPRE says that although using packaging to transport food prevents mass food waste, in turn it creates tonnes of wrapping waste. “Much of it is oil-based plastic that we don’t, or can’t yet, recycle and we all pay to dispose of it. Local food sold through markets, traditional shop and farm shops is often unpackaged or sold in simple bags. Box or bag schemes use reusable cardboard boxes or jute bags, cutting waste even further.”

food market shopping

The other added benefit of eating local is that it is far better for our wellbeing. According to Better Food, “Supermarket produce is grown and processed with its shelf life in mind, and not necessarily its nutritional benefits. These products have been transported over long distances and will often have been sitting in distribution centres before arriving at the store and eventually making it onto the shelves.

“Eating local is not only tastier, it’s also healthier! Ripe fruits and vegetables contain the most nutrients, as the minute they’re picked, their plant cells begin to shrink and their nutrients diminish.”

As well as offering spa days in Yorkshire, we believe in taking care of yourself both inside and out. To get a personal view and understanding of eating local, we spoke with The Garden of Eating blogger Eve Fox, who is a mother-of-two and clean eating advocate (even growing some of her own produce!), to find out what positive experiences she’s had since she swapped to eating local.

Why is eating local important to you?

“This is one of those solutions to many ills of society, and it’s as enjoyable as it is effective. Although it takes more effort and thought than simply going to the supermarket, eating local produce makes life richer and tastier while also helping to build more sustainable local economies and helping to reduce climate-change causing emissions. So I consider it a win-win!”

Has eating local changed the way you cook?

“In many respects, eating locally (which also means eating seasonally) has both made my cooking easier and also more adventurous. Focusing on whatever is fresh and available on any given day, means that I do not have to come up with a grand plan out of thin air.

“Instead, I let the season dictate what I will cook and then I turn to my army of cookbooks, as well as my favourite blogs and websites to find recipe ideas for whatever tasty thing is on offer. This gives me a way of trying new things without really having to seek them out - it's my favourite kind of culinary constraint to work within.”

fresh vegetables

How does local produce differ from store bought produce?

“It's typically both fresher and more flavourful. And in some cases, it's also more fragile and fleeting. Anyone who has bought local strawberries knows that their fragrance and flavour are superior, but also that they have a shorter shelf life, so it's best to eat them right away. Unlike other commercially produced varieties that are bred to withstand transport and have a longer shelf-life once they reach market, these local varieties have been chosen for other qualities like flavour and the ability to thrive in a particular area.”

Is it easy to keep low cost?

“My husband and I maintain a fairly large garden and tend to start most of our plants from seed so that is one great way to keep costs low. Visiting farm stands and purchasing in bulk are also great ways to make buying local cheaper. For example, we like to pick strawberries every June at a local farm and it's significantly less expensive that way. We buy enough to make a year's worth of strawberry jam - also cheaper (though certainly not less labour-intensive!) than buying a year's worth of high quality strawberry jam.

Titanic Spa is the UK’s first eco-friendly spa and are passionate about working towards a greener future. If you’re looking for spa days in Yorkshire that will leave you feeling relaxed and invigorated, get in touch with us today.