You know when you don’t really know about stuff, so you don’t really think about it, and then you start finding out about stuff, and it then changes the way you think about everything?
I have been aware of food shopping issues like food miles, air-freighting, organic, local for a while now. And since taking part in the Waste Watchers campaign, we are now throwing packaging into the mix too.
This makes food shopping a bit of a nightmare.
Which issue takes priority?
Which is better/more important?
I am of the firm belief that organic fruit and veg is not only better for us, and tastier, but also that it is a far far more sustainable way of farming, and much gentler on the earth. So we get an organic fruit and veg box from Riverford every week.
But is it better to buy from the local greengrocers or fruit and veg man at the market, and support local businesses? It would certainly be cheaper. But very often there is very little information about where the food has come from, and even at the Farmer’s Market, the fruit and veg is rarely organic.
So which is better?
And is it better to buy things like pasta from the local deli, and support local business, or organic pasta from the supermarket, because, well, it’s organic. Or just go for the ‘Basics/Value/Essential’ supermarket range and save a bit of money?
Regardless of which you choose, they all come in plastic ‘film’ packaging, which we can’t recycle at the moment in Wiltshire, so it’s a fail on the Waste Watchers front.
And flour. I really struggle with flour. The supermarkets all seem to do an organic range, so is it ‘better’ to buy this, or to buy locally grown and milled flour even if it’s been grown with a hefty dose of pesticides?
Is Fairtrade more important than organic?
Is it better to buy British produce if it has been produced in heated glasshouses, rather than produce from abroad that has been air-freighted here?
Is buying from a local, independent retailer always a more ‘ethical’ choice than buying from a giant multi-national?
You see my dilemma?
What do you all do? What are the priorities for you when you are shopping?
And does anyone have the golden bullet magic shopping solution that allows you to food shop with a clear conscience..?