As a Sussex-based Nutritionist I am always encouraging people to try and buy local, seasonal produce. Not only does it make good nutrition sense, but it also helps support the local economy and reduce food miles. So why not start with visiting what’s on your doorstep such as the Grocer and Grain in Surrey Street? Also the Sussex Food Finder www.sussexenterprise.co.uk/foodfinder is a great directory of all foods in Sussex. Here are three simple tips to get you started – buy it British, buy it local, buy it in season. These tips can help you to buy tastier, fresher and more nutritious food, helping to support sustainable food production in your local area and in the UK.
Imported food has to travel long distances between suppliers, producers, processors and manufacturers. Not only does the quality and nutrient content of food deteriorate in this time, transportation creates greenhouse gases contributing towards climate change.
Buying local produce can help limit the distance your food has travelled from being produced to being eaten and reducing its carbon footprint. Local produce is also fresher and likely to be better quality, not having been transported so far. If you buy organic, then even better, as the nutrient levels will be higher too. Food purchased at farm shops and farmers’ markets has generally less packaging or packaging that is easier to recycle or reuse such as glass and paper. Also, you will be helping support the local economy and keep farmers in business.
Buy it in season
Eating with the seasons helps to provide our bodies with the right nutrients for the time of year. Foods are at their best when in season and are bursting with flavour and nutrients. Unfortunately we have got used to supermarkets providing us with every possible fruit and vegetable throughout the year and they can often be tasteless and poor quality. <a If you’d like to keep informed with what’s in season then sign up to www.eattheseasons.co.uk and they will send you an email each time a food comes into season. Another useful website for eating and growing seasonally is: www.eatseasonably.co.uk
Finally, you will know where your food has come from. You will have the feel-good factor of having supported local farmers and businesses. You might even meet the person who grew your fruit or vegetables or made your bread. If you are unable to get to local farmers markets or farm shops then try to buy British foods from your supermarket.
Jo Bareham www.healthyyou.co.uk