If your local supermarket closed down, where would you do your food shop? Most of us would say, 'The next supermarket closest to me!' What if supermarkets no longer supplied what you were looking for? What if you went to every supermarket and none of them had what you wanted? This has been the case with many shoppers this year as terrible weather in the south of Spain and Italy, the main suppliers for many of our out-of-season vegetables, drastically reduced the supply of courgettes, lettuce and broccoli.

There seems to be a new crisis for specific crops every now and then. Often, unreliable weather is the cause, other times, simple economic and political interference. Either way, these fluctuations in price and supply highlight how oblivious we, as consumers, can be about where our food actually comes from. It also exposes how delicate our global food network really is. And, most worryingly, becomes further evidence of the devastating effects global warming is having on our agriculture.

So, how does a savvy consumer become food crisis proof in this day and age? Here are a few simple tips.

Keep informed

How and what we eat is important. Food is a resource that is finite and should be distributed properly. How that food is produced and how we consume it deserves attention and in these days of free information, it has never been easier to keep up to date with agricultural news. A quick search online comes up with many sites that can give you news on agriculture and empowered with information, it's possible to plan what and how much to buy.

Source your food locally

This means ditching your weekly supermarket shop and instead seeking out local farmers markets, farm shops and nurseries. It doesn't have to be a car trip either, plenty of companies around the UK specialise in Veg boxes which marries the benefits of local produce with modern convenience by putting the freshest, local (and often organic) produce right at your doorstep.

Grow your own

You don't need to have 20 acres of land to sustainably grow your own food. It's possible, even in the smallest space, to dedicate a little of it to growing your own food, even if it's a pot to grow your own herbs in. There is plenty of advice out there on how to begin growing your own food.

Perhaps it's time we all started considering how we can make ourselves food crisis proof. If it's lack of knowledge that stops you from picking up a trowel, a short course in homegrowing may be all you need to get your started on your self-sufficiency journey!

Photo credit: TheGuardian.com




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