10 reasons why buying local benefits both you and the Wirral

There’s no denying that our modern-way of living makes it feel like there are not enough hours in the day to get everything ticked off on the never-ending ‘to-do’ list! So when choosing our food options, quick and convenient often springs to mind. For most, this means doing a weekly shop in a supermarket.

But, there are plenty of reasons why it’s worth going local for your shopping.

Take a look at 10 reasons why buying local benefits both you and the Wirral.

1. Know what you’re eating

Because local food spends less time travelling, it’s as fresh the day it’s picked as the day you buy it. This means that less nutrients are lost, and that preservatives aren’t needed to keep it fresh. Buying locally means you have the luxury of knowing who you’re getting your food from, and how they grow it.

2. It’s much more sociable

Can you remember the last time you had an engaging conversation with someone at a supermarket? At a farmer’s market (such as West Kirkby’s Farmers’ Market), you’re much more likely to have conversations about produce, which not only strengthens producer-consumer relationships, but builds the community too!

3. It’s not as expensive as you think

It’s easy to assume that organic produce will be more expensive, but the lamb we bought for £45 from Bebington High School Farm fed 10 people. And don’t forget: local suppliers might offer you informal discounts for your loyalty, and can be more flexible with their prices which aren’t as set as large retailers.

4. Keep money in the local economy

Buying locally helps circulate money within the community so that everyone benefits more in the long run: for every £1 spent, a local business puts around 65p of that back into the economy, versus a chain retailer returning about 40p. Distributing money locally helps communities prosper.

5. Invest in the environment and the future

By keeping money local, farmers get paid for their products so they’re less likely to sell off land. This means that unique ecosystems and landscapes are preserved, which are essential factors in the local economy for tourism and recreation. Sustaining individual environments ensures that we maintain diversity in plants, animals, and terrains.

6. Save on food miles

Claremont Farm say that supermarket strawberries travel 600 miles before they’re put out on shelves. Imagine all the energy that could have been saved if the strawberries had been grown locally, and only travelled 30 metres – like the Claremont strawberries, freshly available in the Farm Shop. Buying locally means that your food will be free of preservatives and as fresh as the day you buy it!

7. Support the education of the next generation

By buying locally, you’re contributing to Wirral children’s education in places such as Bebington High School Farm with their Animal Husbandry course; no other place on the Wirral offers this insightful and hands-on opportunity. By sourcing local produce, you’re helping the future generations get into an industry that they would otherwise struggle to get in.

8. Build up immunity

Hay fever sufferers: did you know that, by consuming local honey (such as Thurstaston Honey), your body can build up an immunity against local allergens? Honey produced locally will inevitably contain trace amounts of regional pollen, which, when taken in small doses, can help you become more resistant!

9. Taste the difference 

Fruit and veg is picked at its best and sold to you on the day still fresh and full of flavour. Other products like the pies and sausage rolls handcrafted by the Whieldons – a local butchers who run the butchery counter at Claremont Farm’s Farm Shop – are made fresh each day, rather than being mass-produced.

10. Make memories

Remember that time you all went to the cinema and saw… what was it again? How about trying something a little different, something where everyone is actively taking part – such as pressing your own apples! (Equipment available through Wirral Pomona). This is a rewarding experience because you the food and drink you make will be made by yourself. This would be a great way of making memories for children, too.

11. Create the best roast dinner ever

Yes, we cheated and snuck an extra one in! But we couldn’t end this blog without sharing the results from a challenge we recently set ourselves, which was to create a Sunday roast dinner using ONLY ingredients from the Wirral. And the result? Well….see for yourself.