Transition Ashtead talks Food Miles!

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Transition Ashtead hosted another successful event on Monday – this time at St George’s Parish Room – it raised the issues of Food Miles and Packaging. It started with a role play between Caroline Cardew-Smith, (the organiser of the evening), and Flip Gargill (from Transition Bookham), comparing the origin and packaging of the food in their shopping baskets of “Local” and “Yonder” produce. Angus Pike narrated with some technical information about how much CO2 each produced and how choosing locally produced food can dramatically cut food miles. There were two guest speakers – Graham Love and Tyrone Patterson.

Graham Love runs “Greenways” Fruit Farm in Herstmancoux in East Sussex. He talked about the value of locally grown produce and how moving to buying local produce would help cut carbon emissions. He believes that genetically-modified crops will be crucial in meeting the challenge of feeding the growing world population in the future. He is passionate about the Transition movement and the move to a lower carbon economy – he belongs to the Lewes Transition group. He was also selling his Sussex-grown English cherries – absolutely luscious!

Tyrone Patterson runs “Greenwise” fruit and veg shop in The Street. He explained how he liked to provide local produce when possible but if you are running a business means meeting his customers needs, which includes selling produce from overseas. It’s hard to get locally grown bananas for example! The evening developed into a lively debate, which covered many issues about sustainability and the use of new technology, particularly relating to food production, and the fact that no-one wants to return to the old days of life without modern conveniences. A consensus was reached that using technology responsibly was the way forward. The evening was rounded of by refreshments, thanks to Angus and Maureen.