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14 December, 2006

Time for a rethink

In a review of '100 things we didn't know this time last year', the BBC points out that:

It takes less energy to import a tomato from Spain than to grow them in this country because of the artificial heat needed, according to Defra.
Interesting. I tend to buy according to the 'food miles' principle: I buy local produce to minimise expenditure of resources, not merely to support local producers/retailers, but it seems that's simplistic.
Comments

The truth is, we shouldn't have tomatoes at this time of year, they're out of season and any energy expended in their cultivation or import is waste. On top of food miles it's always worth considering the seasonality of your food.

Local seasonal food is the way to go, I've been discovering all sorts of strange veg in my box scheme. Stuff that absolutely can't be grown locally- bananas and coffee- should always be as ethical as possible. I'm still far from perfect, but it's what I'm aiming for.

Posted by Ian Pattinson at December 16, 2006 09:21 AM

That's a step too far for me. Basic sustainability measures are one thing, but retrograde Green asceticism is another. I try to minimise the impact of my existing lifestyle on the environment, but there's no way I'm going to live for the planet. That means buying tomatoes via the most efficient route, but not going without them altogether.

Ethics are not a consideration.

Posted by NRT at December 16, 2006 10:25 AM
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