Riverford Organic Vegetables

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esb.jpgExcerpt from Eat Slow Britain by Alastair Sawday & Anna Colquhoun:

… [Guy Watson] has seen a massive change in people’s aspirations.  “The time of greed, excess and Thatcher’s children seems to have ended,” he says.  “Once again people are seeing virtue in thrift.”  Citing the number of people taking up allotments and ‘home restaurants’ popping up in cities, Guy suspects our food values are shifting too. “People don’t want to be passive consumers in a greedy society; they want to take control of their lives. It’s hugely encouraging.” …

Guy hates the way many restaurants trumpet their use of ‘local food’. “It’s often a marketing gimmick, with many lies hiding in the fridge. For example, there’ll be a huge focus on English cherries in June, but they’re such a tiny part of our diet.” Guy believes these ‘smokescreens’ detract attention from questions around the bulk of our consumption.  Indeed, he says, many shoppers will enjoy the warm glow of buying Kent apples over South African, then pop a pineapple in their basket. 

Guy bases his environment decisions on two years’ research with Exeter University. “What counts is how things are grown and transported. Take tomatoes: those grown in the natural heat of Spain have a far lesser environmental impact than British ones in heated greenhouses.” The research also revealed that vegetables shipped from western France create a fifth of the emissions of those trucked from Spain. So Guy acquired a farm in the Vendée within striking distance of a port, where the sunny climate nurtures a good range of vegetables over a long growing season, filling Britain’s ‘hungry gap’ in April and May …

Riverford Organic Vegetables, Devon, England

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