A sunny but freezing start today to a new challenge where local food rules!
I love food. I adore growing some of my food, cooking is always a pleasure.(if not an adventure for those who I force to eat my culinary efforts) and as for eating....well, it's what I'm good at. Throw it at me and I'll eat it - apart from shellfish. ....
So apart from the stuff I grow myself, where do I get my food from? Well, I like to shop locally if I can - using a local butcher and the nearest farm shop, but about once a fortnight I do a supermarket shop for the essentials.
Those "essentials" mount up ...and although I do try to buy foods in season....it's so easy to get sidetracked, and at Christmas I found myself buying green beans from China and clementines from Morocco amongst other things.
I resent the fact that some of the fruit and veg I'm eating have travelled further than I have in the last twelve months! It's also a fact that eighty per cent of the food we eat in this country is imported. Eighty per cent! Yes, I know, I had to sit down and fan myself when I found that out.
So, the challenge is...cue the roll of drums - to turn that statistic on its head. I'm going to make sure that eighty per cent of what I eat has been grown, made or produced here in Leicestershire and Rutland.
The other twenty per cent will take care of food and drinks such as bananas, coffee, red wine and the occasional treat .
As well as writing about this challenge here on this blog, I'll be covering it on air on BBC Radio Leicester. Why not?It's what I do for a living...but usually I'm featuring other people's stories!
Here's the very beginning...do have a listen...
I'm looking forward to seeing what food I can buy locally , how much I can grow on my two allotments and I can't wait to meet lots of independent growers and producers around here in the coming months.
The challenge means a new way of thinking, eating and living....so bring it on!