The Power is in Our Pocket

1/11/2022 | 0 comments

We are lucky to live in England, a free country, where we can all choose what to say, what to think and where and how to spend our money but it is good to remember that the very freedom we celebrate comes with great power and therefore great responsibility.  As the cost-of-living crisis deepens and begins to affect us all, every pound in our purse takes on a greater significance.
​It is easy to think that the priority is to save money and therefore a quick basket shop in the supermarket is the best option but perhaps that is a rather short-term view. To start with, does the food in that basket fill you with joy, make your taste buds flutter, get your juices flowing?
​Let your mind wander to a wicker basket full of provisions from your local farm shop, freshly picked strawberries which were sunning themselves on a bed of straw only this morning, a freshly-baked sausage roll straight from the oven made with love from fresh meat, without a plastic wrapper or a best-before date in sight, and perhaps a paper-bag full of slightly wonky courgettes, green and fresh with a small muddy smudge on them rather like a badge of honour proclaiming how local they are. Does this make you happier? Does this make you drool?
​Enjoying your food must count in my mind – in this age of fast-food and ready-meal, a truly tasty basket of food is worth its weight in gold. And if we are going to eat meat, then let’s make sure it is well-reared, British homegrown meat that’s had a happy life before it ends up on our plates.
​Apart from joy and a moist mouth, what else does buying from a farm shop do for us? It can send a message that we want to support the local economy. Do we want to give our hard-earned cash to a huge multi-national chain of supermarkets, or would we rather support the work of a local farmer, a local producer, and a local community? Putting money back into the community has all sorts of knock-on positives not the least being that it encourages our food to be produced in our country and not imported from across the sea.
​The recent shortages that all supermarkets have experienced makes it glaringly obvious that more needs to be done to encourage British farmers to grow food for the home market and we have the power to help that movement. The power is in our purse.
​What else? Helping the planet!
Now these are big, weighty issues being blazoned about.
​How can buying a bag of earthy spuds from the farm shop down the road help the planet? Well, that bag of spuds is likely to have been harvested from a field next door, down the road or just around the corner. They have been dug out of the ground recently and transported a few miles to the shop. They have not been flown in, trained in or trucked in from very far. They have not been washed, dried and packaged in plastic. They have come from the farm and will be on your fork by the next day. No wasted food miles. The shortest journey from the field to your tummy that is possible with the exception of growing your own and kneeling down and chewing on a spud straight out of your own veg plot!
​And by helping the planet, you are helping yourself – helping yourself to eat healthier. The freshness of the locally grown vegetable means the goodness is still present when you put it in the pan to steam or chop it into your salad. It hasn’t wilted, degraded and faded. The broccoli is still green, not yellow, and the raspberries are still the right shape and not slopping around in a pool of their own innards!
​And why are they so fresh and beautiful? Because they are in season! Hoorah! buying from the farm shop means you get back in touch with what fruit and vegetable are available at what time of year. Eating seasonally is better for you, costs less, helps reduce imports and makes you happy! You are back in tune with the seasons, back in tune with the planet. Let’s all do a little happy dance, support our local farm shop and celebrate the British farmer.
​Next time you open your purse, remember YOU HAVE THE POWER!


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