One of the first thing to get your head around if you are to “eat local” is that supermarkets are pretty much off limits.Little did I know when I cycled to the supermarket to buy my first ‘local’ shop at the start of the challenge how few products were grown within the 30-mile radius of the store (frankly, it was something I had never really thought about before). You could pretty much count the products on two hands! Not to mention that even when goods are grown locally, they may not be packed anywhere near the source. Needless to say, I soon figured it was time for a rethink…
As someone who leaves for work at 8.30am and rarely gets home before 6.30pm (on a good day), resisting the lure of supermarket shopping presents a number of challenges, not least, where do you buy food in the evening if not in a supermarket? It is easy to
forget that extended opening hours are a relatively recent phenomenon and to get caught up in the convenience of it all. But I cannot say I have ever relished the supermarket experience.
Out with the old and in with the new!
For me, eating local means making time at lunchtime to pick up fresh local produce from the Cambridge market, and shopping on Saturday mornings (rather than in the evening), when shops selling local produce are open. Given that I was quite accustomed to dropping into the local supermarket at a moment’s notice to
pick up a ‘bite to eat’ for the evening meal, this has taken some planning. But it is a joy. I am discovering new foodstuffs and tastes – for example, I cooked my first rabbit last weekend, purchased from Andrew Northrop butchers on Mill Road (roasted saddle of rabbit on Saturday; the remainder in a stew on Sunday). Result!
For the first time ever, I actually find myself looking forward to my next ‘forage’ for local food. You never quite know what you will find, but at least it is real, wholesome food.
Posted by Helen