Why Local Food?

By ‘local food’, we mean food that is produced in your own area, which could be very near or could be the wider region where you live. We have not attempted to define ‘local’ by geography and examples in the film illustrate that ‘local’ means different things in different situations. In the case of Winchester farmers market food sold must be produced either within the boundaries of Hampshire, or within ten miles of the county border. In the case of Nottingham University Hospital, it is the East Midlands region, more or less the area within a 30mile radius of the city.

As Guy Watson says, ‘it is more than just the distance between the cook and the field where the food was grown, it’s about the connection and the trust with the person who grew the food’. There are some clear values associated with ‘local food’, like ‘traceability’ and ‘known provenance’. Very often ‘fresh’ and ‘seasonal’ is associated with local because it is often easier to buy fresh seasonal produce locally. Ultimately, it’s about knowing where your food comes from and knowing who the people are who produce the food. In turn, that influences our attitudes to what we eat. By ‘buying local’ we can support food producers and businesses in our own area and spend our money in our own local economy. Very often it is the smaller sized farms and food businesses that need to find local marketing opportunities in order to survive. In turn they provide us with all sorts of lovely products, rarely found in a supermarket.