As mentioned in Mondays podcast the weekly news articles are going to be a bit different from previous, starting today with this news article.
This weeks news comes from the BBC here.
Now this article is that the cost of many vegetables that we buy from shops in the U.K. Have rocketed in price. This is due to the weather in Spain and Italy being pretty poor and unable to produce crops that we import. As a result suppliers are looking further afield for supplies, such as importing produce from the USA.
I first heard this on the news the other day and instantly could see that this was the effect of our modern life.
The top items that this article claims to have got more expensive are courgettes and spinach. Other items mentioned include aubergines and peppers. Well to me these are all summer crops that need warm weather and therefor unable to grow here without a massive use of energy to creat favourable conditions. So we resort to importing them from across the globe.
One Covent Garden trader in this article mentions it's the most expensive he has known it in 40 years with courgettes that normally cost £5 to £6 a box currently costing £20 to £22 a box that's a 300% increase in price.
The same trader stated he has loads of English potatoes carrots and parsnips. Which I think says it all.
You see to me the trouble here is that as a nation we expect to be able to eat the same fresh food all year round but nature doesnt work that way. So we resort to importing the food that we demand from across the globe, but complain when the price reflects the extra costs involved. Supply and demand is at key here.
How can we combat this is simple really, eat seasonally and locally produced food. Then import costs are reduced. Seasonal produce is usually cheap as it's available at that time. Winter root crops and brassicas at this time of year can make some fantastic meals.
As a vegetable grower I've noticed how my attitude towards what I eat has changed. My thinking used to be "I'll go buy what I want from the supermarket" where as now I find myself thinking "what have I got growing that I can use this week". Sure not everything easy and sometimes something doesn't grow but the satisfaction of growing my own food and knowing that the market price isn't going to effect my dinner, is really something else.