Food miles measure the distance food travels from the farmer to the consumer, via processors and retailers. Higher food miles= greater impact upon the environment, society and the economy, e.g. through carbon emissions, air pollution and traffic congestion. Changing our shopping habits and growing some of our own food can help reduce the food miles we’re responsible for. Buying locally produced food can help the local economy as well as reducing environmental impact. Growing your own is a great way of accessing cheap, healthy, fresh food.
The BBC gardening website has lots of advice on growing different fruit and veg , whether you have a massive plot or just a few planters. If you’re looking for an allotment, there are 8 allotment sites in Kidderminster and 1 in Cookley. These are managed by 4 management associations. Visit our Allotments page for details of who to contact to apply for an allotment in Wyre Forest. The local Transition groups have active food sub-groups, with projects to establish community orchards and gardens for food growing and to promote land share schemes.
The Tastes of Worcestershire website has details of local producers, farm shops and places where you can ‘pick your own’. The Worcestershire Farmers Market website has details of local farmers markets, where you can buy local produce direct from the producer.
Food waste is a major issue. In the UK, we throw away 7 million tonnes of food and drink from our homes every year, the majority of which could have been eaten. It's costing us £12.5bn a year and is bad for the environment too. Visit Love Food Hate Waste for loads of tips to save time and money when buying, storing and cooking food, and for free downloadable resources including meal planners and recipe cards. Composting is a great way to use up certain types of food waste, such as fruit and veg peelings – visit our Composting and Garden Waste pages for advice and for details of our discount compost bin scheme.