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How to be an armchair eco-hero Part 1: Food Miles January 9, 2008

Filed under: environment,parenting articles — paulabrown @ 12:14 pm

So forget climbing trees, reusing tea bags or composting your armpit hair (slightly graphic I realise but I’m going with it), I am producing a series of tips that are actually easy to do and will benefit your life in oh-so-many-other ways. Today we’re talking food miles.

I know it won’t be a new concept but consider this: even those so-called ‘British grown’ veg at the supermarket are more than likely to have been flown to Belgium to be washed or processed then flown back. It’s a little-known fact this but true nonetheless, all to do with economies of scale and who processes what cheapest. Even more so with ‘chopped veg’.
The only way to really assess food miles is to use suppliers who you can talk to / interrogate, such as veg box schemes. They often write newsletters and explain where they make up seasonal shortfalls and which countries veg comes from.

There’s been a huge debate in the organic sector (mainly the Soil Association who is a very active campaigning body) about sourcing from Africa, the problem being that some parts of it are now relying on exporting organic produce to the UK and that stopping this would be catastrophic. As usual, our global economy is fragile and intertwined and the issues not as black and white as they seem. So it’s not even easy enough to say don’t buy from abroad, indeed it’s almost impossible if you like a cuppa and your child is hooked on bananas. I guess the only message here is to start thinking about it, gently change and evolve the way you buy.

Another thought is (and the Women’s Environmental Network would more than likely back this up) is that women have a lot of power and responsibility when it comes to the environment; generally in charge of which nappies, which cleaning products, whether to tumble or rack dry, family’s clothes, their own sanitary ware (sorry gruesome term!) etc. So use this power for good!


2 Responses to “How to be an armchair eco-hero Part 1: Food Miles”

  1. littlemummy Says:

    Great post, we’ll need to get our collaboration off the ground 🙂

  2. Sanne Says:

    i look forward to more tips. I’ll be writing my tips on how to reduce food packaging on my blog later this week

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