I’ve just applied for a “Food Miles” loyalty card

Food goes round the world (for some reason)

Very trendy these days isn’t it?  Being “green”.  I was at Live Earth (Wembley) last weekend joining Al Gore’s hordes of pledgees, determined to waste as much energy as possible in telling other people to save energy.

I recycle most things and take care of what energy I consume.  I try to buy English produce when I can.  I am conscious of the “food miles” that go into most meals.  I had intended to stop buying “French” beans from Kenya until someone told me I was contributing to the demise of Kenyan agriculture and people would starve as a result.  I also stopped buying bananas in favour of pears only to find I was putting Windward Isles farmers out of business in favour of making South African farmer’s rich!

So whilst pondering the juxtaposition of fair trade and food miles, I was sent a copy of “Moveable Feasts” by Sarah Murray (who just happens to be my cousin).  It seems that the concept of “food miles” is hardly a new phenomenon.

The research Sarah has done in her book is phenomenal.  For example did you know that:

Salmon is frequently frozen in the US and EU and shipped to China where it is unfrozen, filleted, re-frozen then returned to the original nation.  How can that be sensible?

Conversely, importing tomatoes to the UK from Spain consumes less energy than keeping greenhouses sufficiently hot for tomatoes to thrive in the UK.  On the other hand I wonder how many Brits ate tomatoes (or even knew what they were) in the 16th century?

For more interesting facts, I can recommend the book.  You can find more about it at www.moveablefeasts.org.  You can find more about Sarah by contacting me.  I’ve known her since she was a thoughtful and sensitive 4 year old.  Nowadays she is even older than me (but only just).

Don’t you think you should upgrade to a typewriter these days?

In fairness there is also mention of wine in the book (thank God!).  Did you know that a tropical journey improved Madeira wine so much that traders used to send their bottles on a long trip just to improve it?  Also that the Indian state of Maharashtra is becoming a major wine producing region?  Anyone who has seriously tried a bottle from there please give me a yell, I’d love to know what it tastes like!

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