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Climate change   |   Local sourcing

The pandemic has taught us how to change

Who would have thought it? When faced with a life-threatening disease, we all instantly changed almost everything about how we live and arrange our lives. We realised how our actions and decisions impacted our neighbours, and by living differently we could - and did - save lives. It was, indeed, as dramatic and stark as that.

We have therefore proved without a shadow of a doubt that we can change when needs must, and at the drop of a hat, too. 

This is enormously reassuring since that other existential crisis that we’re going to have to contend with moves ever nearer: the climate emergency. But now we have proved that we can change dramatically, we can face this next challenge with greater confidence and power.  

Over the past few weeks, Wicked Leeks has covered a new report showing one major way we can all make a powerful impact: changing our eating habits. Ah, but this is going to confront our lazy habits of familiar cooking and those oh-so-demanding taste buds. Anyone would think they were in charge instead of my sensible self. They need to be reminded of a forgotten capability: acquiring new pleasures.

After all, every single one of us spent the first few months of our lives contentedly on a limited diet: exclusively milk. However, our mothers insisted we learn to accept something very strange called ‘solids’.  

So if we trained those taste buds successfully then, what is so different now? Our whole world has change built into it so we really shouldn’t be annoyed. I suspect that we became rather complacent and are now receiving a number of wake-up jolts. Some of us are resisting because personally we did not choose this, we don’t like being shaken out of our comfort zone; we rather enjoy the (mistaken) idea that we should be in charge.  

The ramifications from Brexit will impact our imports of fresh fruit and vegetables, around 40 per cent of which have come from the EU, depending on the time of year. So selfishly and practically the first thing that would make sense would be to eat far more locally-grown food.

After all, some of us very ancient Britons, remember doing this in the war years so we have personal experience that a) it is possible and b) we didn’t starve. 

As well as reducing food miles, local food is more reliably available in season. As well as supporting local growers, which is going to become even more vital in the years ahead, the food on our plate will arrive much fresher. What’s not to like?

Comments

debbiekrishnan@gmail.com

5 Months 3 Weeks

Wow I was so surprised to read this article by the one and only Sue Norris !

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Sue Norris

Sue Norris grew up in Kent, read languages at Royal Holloway, University of London and later a Masters in Theology at Steubenville University in the United States. She is currently a volunteer at Devon-based not-for-profit, Food in Community.

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The twin crises of climate change and biodiversity losses will be the defining stories of our future, but it is not too late to change direction. 

Here at Wicked Leeks, our mission is to help inform and inspire positive change. Our journalism is free to all because of this, but we want to reach as many people as possible who share our desire for a better world. We know our readers are some of the biggest advocates of sustainable living, and you can help us grow this movement by sharing this article widely, with your friends and on social media. Now is the time to act.