Posted: 12/07/2015 at 06:58
It's absurd flying vegetables round the world - surely we could produce enough here and cut down on the air miles. It does make me furious as well.
We started buying veg from the local farm shop until we discovered a lot of the veg at the farm shop were imported as well. I was astounded
And what would you have done if you'd gone to the farm shop in the winter and there wasn't the range of fresh fruit and veg that you were used to? You'd have gone somewhere else - back to the supermarket probably - and bought the things you wanted. The farm shop would have gone out of business, the shop staff would have lost their jobs and the growers would have had nowhere to sell their produce again as they're not big enough to supply the supermarket. They'd have gone out of business and the land would've been sold to the big agri-businesses.
Onions from New Zealand - of course - Europe has imported onions seasonally from NZ for years Onions don't grow all year round in the UK - English onions will be harvested later this summer and will store through the winter, but they won't last in store until this time of year - are you prepared to go without onions for three months? Kleipieper found somewhere with newly harvested onions - great - but would they have had them a month ago and did the producer have enough to supply all the other shops in the area?
I'm amazed that gardeners don't seem to understand about seasonality
Buying Dutch strawberries? Grown in hothouses - so don't tell me you're concerned about airmiles and consequent pollution of the planet then. Hothouses use fuel too!
But everyone want strawberries and salads out of season and if they can't get them from the farm shop they'll go where they can.
People want new potatoes earlier and earlier in the season - in the UK we used to wait until the Jersey and Cornish ones were ready, but the demand from the customer is for new potatoes (they don't have to be peeled - no onehas time to peel a potato any more) so they're imported from Egypt and Israel, then Majorca and the Canaries, until the UK ones are ready. Kleipieper's potatoes in Aldi won't have been shipped in over the past few days - they'll have been shipped in earlier and been in storage in the importer's big storage facilities - then the more local ones will have been ready and the imported ones will not have been wanted by the more expensive supermarkets, so the importers will have sold them off cheap to Aldi - that's how Aldi keep the prices low - they buy the veg the other supermarkets don't want.
What do you spread on your toast in the morning? Is it English butter? Or is it Flora or a similar spread? Where do you think the sunflower and palm oil comes from to make those spreads? We don't grow enough sunflowers in the UK, and no palm oil grows here. If more people ate English butter and English cheese (or do you buy NZ cheddar 'cos it's cheaper ?) then the dairy farmers in the UK wouldn't be going out of business at a rate of knots (leading to the the old pastures being ploughed and the consequent lack of diversity of flora and fauna) and they wouldn't be being screwed over by the big supermarkets reducing the price they pay for their milk. Do you buy locally produced milk - or do you buy the cheapest ?
And do you think those airplanes travel to New Zealand empty? Of course not - they're carrying this country's exports to sell abroad - otherwise the UK would go bankrupt - we exist on international trade.
How do I know? My family have been farmers since the year dot, and my brother is a big onion and potato producer for the supermarkets and my OH is the Fruit and Veg manager for a farm shop.
I could go on - life's more complicated than a lot of people realise