The Importance of Sustainable Shopping

The art of eating healthily

Over the past few years I have had the strongest urge to work with food with complete sustainability, it is so important but not everybody realises this! 

There can be a 'blissful ignorance' when shopping in all of the big supermarkets we are used to in modern life. Almost everything we might need is pretty much at our fingertips all year round, it is absolutely convenient, we can cook what we want when we want and think nothing of it. There is not much stopping us from knocking up a Strawberry dessert  in February or serving Asparagus with our Sunday roast in October, but why should there be! We are eating healthy food, caring about how we live and educating our children how to eat properly yea?!

We are becoming much more concious of how healthy we are living which is definitely a good thing. Carefully selecting what we want to pick up at the supermarket so we can make a nice fresh and healthy home made meal rather than buying those lazy ready meals that we aren't always 100% trustworthy about what is inside them. There is nothing better and more satisfying than making your own food at home and enjoying with friends and family, knowing you are all getting something good out of it. We enjoy creating dishes in our heads whilst walking around the shops fruit and veg sections, thinking about what healthy salad we want for lunch the next day. This is great too because it educates your children how to eat well which will hopefully stick with them for years to come.

 

New Tricks

One way a load of us are looking after our health is by taking the most healthy vegetables and fruits we can find and chucking them in the smoothy blender. Trying to give us the most concentrated boost of health we can by taking all of that raw natural content and turning it into a fun and convenient way of eating in our busy modern lifestyles. It is a great form of dieting and living healthily because you aren't taking away and of its natural raw content by cooking it so it is at it's healthiest, it fill's your stomach  so you don't get as many cravings for a tasty Pain au Chocolat in the morning, you can get creative throwing in whatever takes your fancy, as long as it blends and finally you don't have to sit down and eat it so you can consume it on the move which fits in to modern life with a huge amount of slickness. 

We are also taking on the healthy attitude of making sure we constantly have the good attributes of decent healthy food by taking supplements to help us further. The ideology behind this is good stuff, the fact we are so concious about living healthy, taking all we need from nature to let us do that. Taking it anywhere else other than nature would not be the best idea, as you can't beat anything in it's natural form, it has developed to be that way for thousands of years so why try and recreate it with a rip off that you can't be 100% sure  if it is as healthy let alone even all good for you. These natural supplements are the one to go with, the companies producing them tell us that they take the good's straight from the source condensing them into small packages we can easily consume day after day giving our bodies the good's they need at the same time as having a peaceful mind that we are being natural and healthy.

BUT......

This is a good thing, it is great that we are trying to kick the old habit's of crawling through a drive through, dialling a number or placing an order online to get a quick and easy but unhealthy meal or buying as many ready meals as we might have once. Albeit this still goes on, and there is nothing wrong with treating yourself every now and  then to a greasy beige carb fest that tastes so good but so wrong at the same time, but the fact we don't seem to do it as often as we once did is great. 

We need to keep living healthily but I think it needs tweaking slightly. It is brilliant that we want to get home and make something fresh and healthy rather than buying something pre made, but we need to think about what we are buying, where is has come from and how many lives it may be affecting without us realising!  Next time you go shopping in your local supermarket, go to pick up the usual fresh items and take a look at where they are produced. It will amaze you  how much of it is imported, it amazes me and I really don't get it. As I write this it is Monday 20th June, the first official day of British summer time, bang in the middle of the best time for our own agriculture. We have beautiful fresh vegetables and fruits growing all around us, local farms surround us with the freshest good's you could think of but the big shops we buy in don't seem to take advantage of this as much as they should. It will not be uncommon for you to pick up a packet of Asparagus in a supermarket and find that it has been imported from the other side of the world, quite often Peru. You will pick up a packet of Green Beans that quite often tells us that they have been produced in Kenya. You could pick up a packet of fresh herbs and discover they are from one of our European neighbours I believe that if we want to live and eat healthily we should be trying to take care of our surroundings at the same time, although we are doing a completely selfish thing by looking after our own bodies by eating well, there are also knock on affects that mean we need to act selflessly at the same time.

Getting my 2 pence in...

  • If we are importing all of these goods from halfway around the world firstly (in no order of importance), it can't be as good for you as the freshest food you can buy from the farm around the corner because it has aged with its long journey meaning it simply will have lost some of the qualities we are after.
  • Secondly the farmers who produce our own amazing produce should not need to struggle to make a living when they are growing such amazing food in a country full of food lovers and enthusiasts. Our farmers actually export most of our vegetables in bulk orders to make sure they can earn a living without risk of having left over good's they can't sell because we are not guaranteed to want to buy them, and then end up having to buy part of it back at a more expensive rate when stocks are low to sell to us when we decide we do want to buy them. We should want to buy them all of the time! Not the same thing they are selling but from half way around the world!
  • The environment is an obvious and key thing to take into consideration too. If we have produce as good as this on our doorstep then why risk the future of our planet by adding extra pollution to the atmosphere  for no reason at all? Also whole natural worlds are wiped out by mass agriculture, farming on a scale never seen before until recent decades, to grow food to sell to the world over. Unfortunately trying to sell food to the world is not as nice as it could sound, they are not trying to feed the world, it is mostly just about money and greed.  Which may do a few people some good now, but in the long term it's not looking like it will be helping the majority of the worlds population, especially when resources we all need like rainforests are hacked down to grow something we could all live with less of.
  • There are actually, or in some cases were actually, many varieties of the fruit and vegetables you go shopping for. We never see them now though, when you enter your supermarket of choice count how many varieties of your favourite items you can find. You will definitely find 2 or 3 varieties of potato but there are actually  over 4,000 we could be able to choose from. You will probably only find 2 kinds of corn, baby corn and the large yellow cobs we are all used too, again there are more and used to be even more to choose from, just not in these shops. Tomatoes, you will find a few, Cherry, Plum, Beef steak, possibly a mix of yellow and red, but again there should be many more of all different colours, shapes and sizes. This is because of mass agriculture, for some strange reason we have chosen variety we like and stuck with it, producing a crazy and unhealthy amount of each of them to fill our stores with. Doing this has wiped out a huge amount of the different varieties of all fruit and vegetables because we have ignored them and let them disappear because we somehow decided we didn't want them. I am not sure who decided these crazy decisions but it has limited our choice immensely and therefore cut down our choice in different vitamins and minerals we may be extracting from these different varieties too, let alone getting to cook up some bloody cool dishes with them.

Who knows!

This doesn't only affect the vegetables we see in front of us in the shops when we are choosing what to make for dinner or what to stick in our smoothies this week, it is in everything mass produced food item we look into, supplements being another one. When we pick up these supplements we know are full of healthy fruits and vegetables does it cross your mind where they have come from. Surely they are not all being picked locally and seasonally, they are picked by huge machines in mass from all kinds of destinations around the world then flown or shipped to a location where they will be mixed up together into a rich cocktail of goodness for our health hungry bodies. Although it's great we want to look after ourselves, we aren't really, we are breathing in the extra pollution our little capsules have helped to create which is no good for us or our future families. We could be, but hopefully are not contributing to affecting the lives of people who may have been forced to move so that mass agriculture could take place or maybe being taken advantage of and used to work on farms for next to nothing, who knows, hopefully not but we can't know for sure! If we were using the fruits and vegetables from the farm around the corner we would have a better idea of where everything we put putting inside our bodies comes from.

Now I know and completely understand that in the British Isles we are not able to produce all kinds of foods that we would like all year round and don't have the largest period in where we a in abundance of a large variety of stock but we should try not to ignore it. We have neighbouring countries with different climates to our own who we have traded with for centuries because of the fact we are all able to produce different goods we all want. To me this is good and I like the fact, as long as it isn't taken the piss out of and over used. We can get products from Spain, France and Italy that we now get from Peru, Kenya or Thailand for example so why push the boundaries even further and damage the environment more than needed. I believe that the world as a whole needs to begin shopping a bit closer to their own doorsteps when it comes to food, no country needs to buy something from across the globe, there is a country close by that will have something your country can't produce, no need to destroy the climate and waste time travelling so far.  

These worldwide modern trading cultures may never change, but it would be good I think if whenever you go to the shop next, have a think about what you are picking up, if you really need it or if you can buy the local version near by. I can guarantee it will taste better if its fresher and you will be doing a lot of people as well as your own health a lot of good. 

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