Thinking about food security

With half of Heathrow flights grounded and hazardous driving conditions across Europe due to heavy snowfall, I started thinking about food security and how communities who rely more on local foodstuffs and less on imported goods are likely to be more resistant to disruptions.

In Cambridge, despite the wintry conditions, Simon, who runs an organic vegetable stall (something of a local institution) in the market square, had braved the journey in from Littleport. “I had three tonnes [of vegetables] in my truck on the way out here”, he said as he loaded empty pallets back onto his truck. Despite the slow trickle of passers-by, Simon was still doing a swift trade.

The vegetables had that lovely ‘straight-out-of-the-ground look’ about them: muddy and imperfect, but looking and smelling like real food should do.

We left the stall with three huge bags full of vegetables, including mixed salad leaves, parsley, carrots, parsnip, sprouts, celeriac, artichokes, turnip, beet, potatoes and onions, which will keep us going for the next week – all for under a tenner.

It’s reassuring in difficult times to have access to local growers, who offer quality produce at an honest price and always provide service with a smile. They are an asset to the community and, as consumers, we need to do our bit in supporting our local growers if they are going to be around in years to come.

Posted by Helen

 

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