Sunday, 9 February 2014

Shopping local, shopping fresh

I try to shop locally when I can

We're lucky in that we still have an independent baker and a butcher in walking distance. We have a market on Friday, and while there's the usual market stuff, and "M&S seconds", there's a really good fruit and veg stall, a cake stall, a fishmongers van, and a butchers van. So, if I'm around ans about on a Friday, that's where I head to.

A couple of miles in the opposite direction, and there's an indendent greengrocers, a butchers, and a fishmonger. Most people aren't that lucky and have to shop in supermarkets.  

Now, while there's no doubt that supermarkets have buying power, and you can get things on offer, and really cheaply, it's been the death of little shops which can't compete on price.  There's also a question of quality, and while the supermarkets have quality control I often find that produce bought in supermarkets doesn't last very long.

That's not a problem, if you've a large family, and use things quickly; but there are only two of us, and I'm away for part of most weeks. If I'm not there, J may use frozen veg, but it's highly unlikely that he'll bother peeling carrots!

From my local shops I can buy just what I need, in the knowledge that anything left over will still be fresh a couple of weeks later.

And, conversely, if I buy bread from the bakery, I need to use it: it's got no preservatives, so has to be eaten fresh. Being honest, nothing lasts that long as it's so tasty.

I also buy from a farm shop occasionally. Mainly because, living in a city, we don't have that many, so it means either a special journey, or being around on the days when they deliver.
But,it's worth the extra money for less waste.  The week before Christmas I bought some local potatoes from the farm shop, and forgot to put them in the hessian bag, leaving them in their box.  But look!

The remaining half dozen are ready to be used.