There’s no denying that eating locally grown produce not only helps your community thrive and is undoubtedly tastier than supermarket bought items, but it also helps care for the environment. More and more people are taking the leap and embracing shopping and eating locally, and whilst the pandemic brought its own problems, it’s safe to say that people are now more conscious about feeding back into local businesses and building strong local economies.
Here is where the argument potentially lies. What do you class as local? Many of us class local as anything between a 50- and 100-mile radius from where we live, for others, that regional span could be increased. Obviously, it depends on your location. If you live in an area with high agriculture, you are likely to have a plethora of stores to choose from. Others may not be so lucky to live a hop skip and a jump away from Diddly Squat Farm shop.
Making the choice to eat locally hosts an incredibly range of benefits. The first of those benefits being the sustainability. Buying locally also means using less or environmentally friendly packaging. We know not everybody is working as hard as they should to recycle plastic, but each little step we take towards making the right choices means the waste statistic decreases. Surely, the most important benefit of eating locally grown foods is the taste! Local crops tend to taste fresher and have more nutrients. But why? Did you know, when you buy fruit and vegetables from the supermarket it has been on quite a journey before it reaches you. It has been picked, transported, packed, sprayed with chemicals, and given a shelf life. Hearing that always makes me think that I’m probably not getting the benefits that I could be if I was buying locally. Unlike our trusty farm shops where the produce has been picked no more than 24 hours before and is waiting patiently in all its freshness for you to purchase. Of course, buying locally does come at a cost. We can’t hide the fact that buying from local farm shops does cost us more, and with the living cost crisis, it’s understandable that where you buy your good from may not be out of choice. But I think it’s good to have a balance and make a conscious effort wherever you can fit it into your lifestyle. It might start by putting £20 of your weekly food budget into local grocery shops. That may then increase depending on your circumstances. Small steps eventually create big changes.
Manchester is residing many sustainable restaurants that are proud to be serving exceptional, locally sourced dishes as well as boasting their efforts for sustainability. More cafés and restaurants in and around the city are trying their best to play a part in being environmentally friendly and indulge you in tastier dishes! Below is a list of our favourites, with relaxed yet stylish environments. Let us know what you try!