Lots of us think a lot more about where our food comes from than we used to. And those of us that don’t could certainly try to a bit more. Whether your motivations are healthy eating, the environment, animal welfare or even fair trade, we want to know more about our food. People might want to ensure they only buy free-range eggs or poultry, organic vegetables and produce grown seasonally in their country. But it can be difficult to get hold of the information we need. Luckily, there are some ways you can make sure your food comes from the sources that you trust.
Check the Labels
No matter where you shop, checking the labels on the things you buy can give you clues as to where they came from. Firstly, the brand could indicate several important factors. It can be easy to research which brands operate ethically and in-line with your values. You can also check to see if things like fresh fruit and vegetables, meat and fish say which country or region they originated from. Labels might also include things like fair-trade status, and, of course, the ingredients. They can give you lots of clues to help you identify where your food is from, how it was grown and what it contains.
Use Local, Independent Stores
If you want to buy more ethical food, you’re likely to be better off shopping in smaller, local stores than in supermarkets. For example, instead of going to the meat counter in your local supermarket, you can visit your local butcher. You can talk directly to the staff in the store, and they should be able to tell you everything about where they get their meat from. Small, independent stores are more likely to get their products from family farms and other resources that they can personally vet. It’s essential to them that what they sell is top quality.
Go to the Farmers’ Market
If you have a local farmers’ market, you could find lots of independent and artisan suppliers. You could speak directly to the people who produced the things you’re browsing. It gives you the chance to learn about how everything was grown or made. You can find all sorts of products, from fresh fruit and vegetables to preserves, meat products and more.
Grow Your Own
The ultimate way to know where your food comes from is to grow it yourself. You’ll know every detail of its production, from the seeds to your plate. You can grow all kinds of things in your backyard or even in your house. There’s fruit, from strawberries and blackcurrant bushes to apple and orange trees. And you can grow vegetables, from potatoes to squash. You can even keep chickens or other poultry for meat and eggs, or a sheep or goat for dairy.
You might need to put in a lot of effort to find out where your food is from and how it was made. But it’s worth putting in the work to give peace of mind.