Thursday, 29 January 2009

Mark's Sustainable Eating Challenge

The challenge:
  • To eat nothing but food grown in the UK.

Additional factors:
  • Vegetarianism and limiting dairy, eating organic.

Length of challenge:
  • Four weeks.

As part of my uni course we have a nutrition module, as part of that we have to put ourselves on a diet. For mine I chose this. I believe learning to live locally is the only sustainable way of living right now and will be the only way of maintaining a secure food supply in the future. However, a large part of the food I eat is from abroad. In the last two days I have eaten food from the UK, Turkey, Swaziland, Spain, Germany, Canada, Italy, Holland, the Dominican Republic and many other countries that were not listed on the food - and this is the norm, or even better than the norm as I do already get all my vegetables locally.

I am really excited about undertaking this challenge, although after looking around my local health food shop and my local supermarket I realise it will not be easy as very, very few of the foods that I looked at were from the UK. I have a good supply of vegetables, as I am a member of an organic box scheme that delivers organic vegetables to me weekly that are all grown in the UK (Abel & Cole), but other than that it will be a real challenge.

I should be reasonably ok with getting grains, as wheat, barley and oats are grown here, but getting enough proteins will be difficult - so far all I have found is local organic eggs. My normal sources of protein such as lentils, chickpeas and many nuts and seeds are all imported and I am yet to find UK equivalents. I will of course have to cook most things from scratch and will not be able to buy snacks or anything like that as all of these food items contain ingredients from various countries, often with them not being listed.

I start next Tuesday and I will keep you updated as to how I'm doing. If you know of any good UK food or have useful recipes please let me know, I need all the help I can get!!

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