Since Wednesday I’ve been trying to live a more local existence on the food front. The challenge I set myself had 4 parts to it and centred on using up things I already had in the store cupboards,buying local produce,thinking about the provenance of what I ate and trying not to nip to the supermarket in the car unnecessarily.
So how have I been getting on?
I managed to stick to eating from the store cupboard and not going on a supermarket or food only trip in the car. I didn’t manage to only buy things from the area I had defined,partly because the labelling is not always good (it often just says grown in UK,sometimes it does give the region),partly because I had three business meetings where I had very little control over the food or drink on offer and also because I only managed to find two English wines on sale despite this being English wine week! I also learnt I have enough food in the house to survive a siege…..and that making your own bread is good fun and a lot tastier even when it doesn’t go quite right.
So here are the things I had,I’ve noted new purchases in brackets:
Not at all local (can i ever eat them again!):
Mint and other fruit infusions (need to find a UK grown versions or use fresh from garden when possible),avocado,Serrano ham (have tracked down a few UK air dried hams),cheese – Parmesan,various Norwegian cheese. I had one truly local cheese from Suffolk as well;I can probably switch to almost 100% UK cheese going forward but would only have about 5 choices if I stuck strictly local. Cashews (oh but I love cashews there’d not be many nuts on a UK based diet – cobnuts and walnuts mainly),coffee,chocolate (imagine a future with neither chocolate of coffee……..),white tea,tinned tomatoes,spices,dried pasta (I could make my own as often as possible),chick peas,butter (Danish!),black pepper,sugar. Flatbrod,chorizo (I’ve now found a local supplier hurrah),lamb salami,Spanish wine (Rioja),white wine from Chile,cassis (looking for a UK producer),rice – risotto and basmati
Within my local area definition:
Filtered tap water (mind you I don’t know where it comes from do I?),pork meatballs,rapeseed oil,fresh herbs (from the garden),paneer (yes it was made in Leicestershire) – new purchase. Maldon salt,cider (bought),mushrooms (bought),bacon,sausages (bought),mince beef to make burger (bought – this and sausages from a good farm shop I have found). Mayonnaise and ketchup – both locally produced but might not be completely locally grown. Salad leaves (bought),homemade stock,asparagus.
From the UK but not specifically local or not known if local:
Cauliflower,spinach (bought),baby turnips,tomatoes (local ones not yet available these were IOW),yoghurt,flour and yeast to make bread (I know I can find local alternatives for the flour and will be switching). English wine (from Kent),frozen broad beans,Worcestershire sauce.
Not bad but not an outstanding performance – lets see how things go for the next three days. I’m thinking the bigger challenge will be to keep making the right choices after the seven days are up.