Hi, my name’s Lucy and I’m a journalist..
For a very long time I didn’t give two hoots about where my food came from. I’d always cared about animals, but never quite managed to put two and two together when it came to what was on my plate and where – or what – it came from.
There wasn’t exactly an epiphany moment where I suddenly cared – it was more a gradual realisation that I needed, and wanted, to learn about the life my food had had before I ate it.
So I started watching the odd documentary about food waste and produce, and I became more and more interested about the origins of food and how it is farmed. Then I stumbled across Farmageddon – Philip Lymbery’s expose of where cheap meat comes from.
It was the shocking wake up call I needed. Shortly after reading the book, I went on holiday to America, and discovered just how difficult it is to eat with a conscience – especially if you haven’t done your research beforehand. Every menu I read I wondered where the food I was about to order had come from.
It wasn’t until I went to Shake Shack – a trendy American fast food restaurant that I’d actually eaten in a few times before – that I found somewhere which was proud to advertise where they farmed their food. And, even better, they never use meat which has been treated with hormones or antibiotics (you can find out the significance of that if you read Farmageddon).
I’d never have thought a fast food restaurant would have had such a moral compass (the cynic in me), and I wondered how many other people realised they could actually enjoy green fast food.
I’d like to say I’d go vegan, but I’m going to admit that I absolutely love meat, and I truly feel there must be a way of being able to eat animal produce ethically without having to cut it out completely.
After searching (in vain) for a guide or database of supermarkets, restaurants and food providers who source their produce ethically, without resorting to mass farming tactics, I decided to start tracking places which care about where they get their food from.
Patrick Holden, founder of the Sustainable Food Trust, defines what ‘sustainability’ means to him in this blog for Daylesford:
“Sustainable farming is about not using chemical fertilisers, not using pesticides, building soil fertility through crop rotation, avoiding antibiotics as much as possible with all your livestock systems; farming in harmony with nature and practicing truly mixed farming; practicing diversity and the cyclical law of return – and above all practicing good soil health, plant health and animal health.”
So, if you know of any restaurants, food outlets or producers who fit some – or even all – of the above criteria, please drop me a tweet @sherrifflucy or email firstname.lastname@example.org with any suggestions – and I’ll make sure to credit you if it ends up on the site.
I hope you find this blog as useful as I’m hoping it to be – please do get in touch with any feedback or comments.