What is Local Food?

If you’ve read our Why Local Food? page, we hope you’ll agree with us that eating local food is a good idea. That’s the easy bit!

We’ve set up this website to help consumers find food that’s local to Bentham, but first we had to decide what to include.

We found that “produced within 30 miles” is used elsewhere, but what does “produced” mean? It seemed unfair to exclude a local pie-maker using local meat, just because his flour wasn’t local (or for that matter, a sheep-farmer who occasionally feeds bought-in concentrates) so we decided it meant “grown or made”, even if non-local ingredients are used.

What about the “30 miles”? Did we want to encourage people to drive to Barrow, Brough or Blackburn to buy food produced there because it’s within the 30-mile limit? We decided that wouldn’t be supporting our local economy, or reducing food miles, so we added “and available within 5 miles”.

Buying local food locally is what this site is about!

Of course, if you try to stick to this rule, you’ll find it very hard to get everything you need; it’s not as easy as you might think for retailers and caterers to get local produce. But it’s not impossible, and if they know that there are consumers out there who want to eat local produce, they will make the effort to get it. It’s up to you to ask them!