Now “food patriotism” is certainly worthy of support. I have always wondered why the UK is not self-sufficient in apples, potatoes, lamb, watercress, bacon, cherries and a myriad of other products that we can actually grow. Why do we pay to have set-aside fields instead of encouraging the production of our ‘native’ crops?
Products we cannot grow of course will need to be imported – coffee, bananas, spices, olives, decent wine. But it is the moral angle that seems to be ignored. Do we not have an obligation to support impoverished farmers in Kenya say or support our ex-colonies in the Caribbean with sustainable and long term relationships?
In addition to the road-miles side of things there is also the packaging costs. Why is everything double wrapped or in plastic trays? There are cheeses and tiny tapas dishes in Waitrose in little ceramic dishes. Ocado delivered the pre-Christmas food splurge that included one single 100g bar of chocolate in its own plastic carrier bag while the staff at Waitrose insist of double bagging every single bottle of wine I buy. Is all this waste down to me as a consumer or should the supermarkets and producers have a more moral or ethical attitude.
If, as is proposed, households are to be charged depending on the amount of generated waste are we going to be dumping all the excess packaging at the end of the Tesco checkouts?
And while I am ranting – this buy local thing – there are cows galore around these parts. Where locally can I buy the milk, the butter or the cream they produce?