The pandemic has taught us how to change

Now we have proved that we can change dramatically, we can face changing what we eat to lower our impact with greater confidence and power.  

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?


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