LOCAL PRODUCE: HEALTHY
|Local produce is hard to purchase in
the North West
Experts say that locally grown, reared or produced
food is incredibly healthy.
But Inside Out discovers that obtaining it in
the North West is too much like hard work!
Research shows that given the choice, more than half
of us would buy local produce, the problem is we don’t.
Professor Vince Mitchell from UMIST says, "There are
benefits in terms of health. The time of picking to plate when it’s come
from down the road means that it’s fresh."
"It’s got more antioxidants and vital vitamins than if
it comes on a boat from Argentina."
Mitchell talks to Inside Out
Inside Out challenged the Price family from Oldham to
prepare only local produce for the family dinner table.
Duncan says, "It’s not something I’d thought of. It would
be nice to think I was supporting the local community."
Presenter Judy Hobson began the challenge by searching
through the Price family’s weekly shopping and confiscating any items
which were not locally produced.
Out of a weekly shop for Duncan, Barbara and their two
sons, only one jar of pickles were produced in the region!
On the hunt
With their cupboard bare apart from a lonely jar of pickles,
the hungry family shopped in an around Oldham for food produced in the
The experiment revealed that apart from at specialist
local outlets, it’s almost impossible to identify what is and isn’t genuine
Professor Mitchell says, "It’s not always in the supermarket’s
interests to tell you because they make more money by bringing them from
Duncan says, "At the shops a lot of the time they didn’t
know where it was from."
Price family where ready for the challange
As both Duncan and Barbara work full-time, Barbara was
concerned about the amount of time involved when they could simply pop
to the well-stocked supermarket nearby.
She says, "To be honest, our main concern is convenience."
After a two hour scouring session, all the modern day
hunter-gatherers returned with were some locally grown potatoes.
One place which offered a wealth of healthy, local goods
was the Farmer’s Market in Uppermill.
Everything from fresh lamb to tasty cheese to crusty
bread could be purchased here. It’s all produced
in the North West and is labelled clearly.
A market trader told Inside Out, "Until the Farmers'
Market started they had never had an outlet where they knew where the
lamb was coming from."
Professor Mitchell is quick to praise markets such as
He says, "People will be coming here from outside of
the local area to buy things and that brings money to the local economy
and everybody benefits."
Unfortunately, as markets such as this are scarce, it
looks unlikely that families will abandon supermarket shopping just yet.
And the Price family say that because of the struggle
involved, they will certainly be venturing back to their usual supermarket