For people who care about their food

Not Delia’s Poll 9 – Food provenance

Our last poll was about chocolate and although we collected nearly 100 votes it didn’t seem to be a very popular topic to talk about. Let’s change the subject.

How about provenance? There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence to show that more and more of us are looking to see where the food we buy comes from and how it was produced.

For some, the overriding question is food miles – trying to keep down the amount of energy squandered in bringing food from farm to table, including the costs of storage. You won’t find fresh mangetout or strawberries on these people’s menus in the middle of winter.

Others are more concerned with the quality of the food – which may be a question of minimising environmental collateral damage (organics rather than agri-chemicals); meeting humane standards (free-range); or made by traditional regional methods (certified origin). If they have to look a little further afield to buy food of the quality they’re happy with, then so be it.



And yet others simply buy what looks nice on the shelves, or whatever’s cheap, without worrying too much about how it got there.

Where do your buying habits fit in to all this?

  • I only buy locally produced seasonal food – food miles are important to me
  • I don’t mind where the food comes from but I want to know how it was produced (organics, free-range, humane methods etc.)
  • I try to buy high-quality food produced by traditional methods wherever possible
  • I try to choose with provenance in mind but do ignore it some of the time
  • I just buy whatever looks good at my usual supermarket or shops and never really think about where it came from
  • I can’t afford to be picky about provenance – price is my main concern
  • Other (please comment)

Please vote and let us know what you think – and join in the debate below!

5 Responses to “Not Delia’s Poll 9 – Food provenance”

  1. Sam

    Does always buying Anchor butter in the UK count? I always feel like I need to support my homelands economy 🙂

  2. Mr Not Delia

    Dunno what ND thinks, but in my book that definitely comes under “Other” 😉 – provenance matters, but with patriotism as the underlying motivator rather than quality.

  3. Clinton

    I try to buy locally produced seasonal food but it’s more to support local farmers than for food miles reasons. I do want to know how it was produced. I wouldn’t buy battery hen eggs, non-UK pork (because of lower animal welfare standards elsewhere) or meat that wasn’t organic.

    Well, that’s what I say. Who knows how much of that so called organic meat is just non-organic stuff being passed off as the real thing?

  4. Not Delia

    I would prefer to buy local, free-range. etc, but it’s not always possible. I buy what’s for sale. You can’t buy what ain’t there. That said, our local market is much better than the supermarket for fresh produce. I buy from there because the quality is better.

    There again, if I want imported goods – and I do frequently want those – then the supermarket is the only option. I’ve been pleased to see that even supermarkets in many countries have taken the initiative to stock locally-sourced products more than they used to, so that’s a step forward.

    When it come to things such as cheese, I really want it from the country which created it in the first place. I’ve tried “Parmesan” from various countries but none is as good as the Italian version.

    I’m probably a lot more concerned about the quality of the food than any other factor such as air miles.

  5. Mike

    I buy locally produced, seasonal, organic produce where possible so which option am I supposed to choose given that I couldn’t choose two?

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