The only rip-off that is bigger than “Our favourite Top-end Retailer’s” fresh produce is their pre-made sandwiches. Yet despite this, it’s the quality and convenient packaging that keeps you going back for more. (Or is it the laziness when it comes to packing your own lunch?)
Guilty as charged.
Yet consider this: Woolworths proudly tells you where many of their fresh produce is sourced from: Veggie type A from Kenya, Veggie Mix B from Zimbabwe, etc.
But nice and wholesome as these products may be – and whether they are organically produced or not – they cross borders from one country to the next before finally ending up on the shelves of your local store.
Fresh products don’t tend to stay fresh for long, hence you need to move them quickly from A t B if you want to sell them at a premium. This suggests air transport to South Africa, which in carbon terms is roughly on a par with what genuine mink coats are to animal rights.
From the airport, fresh products are generally delivered to retail outlets by refrigerated truck – all nicely packaged in plastic, cling-wrap, cardboard and cellophane.
Between the cargo plane and the distribution network, that’s a LOT of carbon being emitted to bring you a bunch of fresh carrots you could’ve bought from a local grower.
Why you should support local organic producers
I am no carrot expert, but I am willing to bet my lunch for a week that an organic carrot grown in the Western Cape will taste as good, if not better, than a Zimbabwean one. And it will probably be more nutritious is as well.
In addition, local produce tends not to be so over-packaged, which means that you buying organic vegetables has double the effect in reducing your carbon footprint.
Brilliant – you CAN make a difference.
Although there may be exceptions to the rule, there’s a lot to be said for buying local grown fresh produce. Choosing to buy locally will help combat the climate crisis, and it’s hip to shop organic!
If you’re looking for a place to buy organic products, be sure to visit Urban Sprout’s Ubergreen Organic Eco Directory for more information on organic products and the companies who grow them. Also check out The Vegan Diet for some cool veggie recipes and inspiration…