Buy Seasonal, Buy Local and Ditch the Plastic

Buy local and seasonal

Support your town markets and buy local

We don’t grow enough vegetables. Yet. I’m hoping that will change this year when we finally get the polytunnel installed. But for now, I’m having to rely on buying in a lot of our fruit and veg, trying to keep it as seasonal as possible.

I’ve become more and more aware of the plight of farmers and the cruel, money-grabbing ways of supermarkets in driving down their costs from their suppliers, and just the sheer amount of waste that goes on due to changing orders, the pursuit of perfect looking veg and more. Supermarkets are not our friends, not really. Having read Tescopoly (definitely a recommended read) and recently watched yet another documentary about the marketing games supermarkets are playing with us, I have become thoroughly disillusioned with how our food shopping is going in this country.

And the thing that has really got to me recently is the ridiculous amount of packaging that fruit and veg is supplied in. I mean, even if you buy it loose at the supermarket, you still HAVE to put most of your semi-fresh produce in a little plastic bag (which can be reused but ultimately ends up in landfill). I would refuse to put my baking potato, leeks, etc in a plastic bag at the supermarket, but when you’ve got a dozen onions, it’s hard to control them all rolling around in your shopping basket.

I would get to bin changing day and just look at the number of plastic non-recyclable packets in our bin and feel bad. Really bad. We’re avid recyclers and we don’t put much in our bins, but lately all that seemed to be in there was plastic bags from fruit and veg. They end up in landfill and somehow a ridiculous amount of plastic ends up in the rivers, oceans and in the bellies of birds and sealife.

So I decided enough is enough. I don’t want to be a part of that problem. No more excuses.

Growing my own veg is one solution to the problem, but it’s a slow burner and I am nowhere near a self-sufficient level of growing yet. So where I can’t fill the gaps myself, I’ve decided to ditch plastic, ditch supermarket plastic-wrapped veg and start doing my veg shopping at the local farmer’s market every Saturday.

I take my wicker basket to fill and carrying everything home in that, as even the farmers put everything in a big non-recyclable carrier bag for me unless I tell them not to. There I have a selection of some homegrown farmers’ veg (their broccoli, leeks and parsnips are clearly pulled straight from the ground and brought to market) and some things from much further afield (cheekily bought some bananas from goodness knows where), but ultimately it’s a fresh selection, no packaging for the most part) and if you eat seasonally, it’s much  more likely to be local. And tastes better, anyway. The leek soups and roasted parsnips I’ve been making lately have been so superior! And it’s all down to fresh, seasonal and local produce.

leeks and shallots

Leeks and shallots from my local farmer’s market

I wish I could find an organic veg stall, but for now, I’m just having to wash and peel everything as I would with supermarket fare. And I’m definitely saving money – I haven’t spent more than £8 for all my fruit and veg for the week for two of us, and it’s more than enough.
So my point is this – if you can, please consider ditching the plastic too and heading on down to your local market, and grow a bit more for yourself. You’ll reap the tasty rewards.

Comments

  1. I couldn’t agree more. It’s so depressing to see great crates of fruit and veg that’s still perfectly usable thrown away because of the best before dates. For things that you can’t buy locally (bananas etc), have you looked at veg boxes? No packaging, and they’re usually organic and fair trade?

  2. Alice in Wanderland says

    Hey Lucy… been catching up with your news 🙂 I agree and reading your words gives me another kick up the bum. I think it. i feel it. I know it… and yet somehow life gets busy and I find myself in the supermarket – GAH! But I am going to make more of an effort – it’s totally wrong – the whole thing scares me. Hope you’re well x PS. we finally found our little bit of land in Portugal, so lots of growing in the future for us we hope 🙂

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