Saturday, 16 August 2008

The end?

Well, it has now been a year since I started the Eating British project! I can't believe how quickly the time seems to have gone either. My blogging has taken a bit of a nose-dive of late - the pressure has been piling up at work a bit, so I haven't really had as much time for the blog as I would have liked.

Actually, I would say that is probably true for the whole project - I simply haven't had enough time to be able to do everything I initially hoped to do. Still, it's been an interesting experience and one that has lead me to realise that it is actually quite easy to have a British produced diet, for most things. I must admit, there were some things I never quite got sorted. Snack food was perhaps the main one! I probably should have taken carrot sticks or something with me to work, but I'm really not the most organised of people, so that was never going to happen! :-)

In recent news, I have started trying to grow some of my own produce. At the moment, I'm limited to what I can get away with growing in my flat, so it's just chillies and mint at the moment, but it's a start! I have been using the mint to make mint tea in the mornings, rather then my usual coffee, so that's something else locally produced! The chili plants have started flowering, so I'm hoping they will give some fruit soon.

Of course, all this seems a bit late now that my 'official' year is over. With the rising costs of food, it almost seems as if this project is over just as things were starting to get interesting! For the near future, I'm going to have other priorities, but I hope that once things settle down again to be able to restart this project. I will continue to try buy British where I can and to encourage all of my friends to do the same.

Actually, that has been one of the most rewarding aspects of this project - that people come up to me to tell me about the last meal they cooked with all British (or nearly all!) ingredients, or how they decided to use a British cheese in place of the one they would regularly buy. That really was my main objective right from the beginning - to get the people around me to think a little bit more about the food they are buying and where it comes from. And, of course, to try to promote British food to them as much as possible! Somewhat disappointingly, this is perhaps the area where I have achieved the least, mostly because I haven't been able to put enough time in to it.

So, what was the conclusion? Is it possible to live for a whole year, only eating food produce in Britain? Well, I now feel qualified to say that the answer is "Yes!" it certainly is. I have learned though that it does require a bit more organisation and this has proved to be my weakness on more then one occasion. It seems to me that most of the major supermarkets are getting into the 'local food' thing now, so I imagine that it will just get easier and easier. An example of this was sweet peppers - this summer I was able to buy British sweet peppers in Sainsburys, but this was certainly not the case last summer. Rising food prices may pose a threat to this though. As supermarkets strive to offer the best deals for consumers, the temptation to go for cheaper, imported products will be strong. These will be cheaper on the shelves as well, so they may well be more attractive to consumers. Some people have commented that this poses a very serious threat to farming in Britain - so I will certainly be keeping an eye on this situation.

I still have quite a few pictures to post, so I shall do that as soon as I can - watch this space!

No comments: