Experts reveal the benefits of eating locally produced food at breakfast

Monday, 4th October 2021, 3:43 pm

Brits are constantly reminded to take at least 10,000 steps each day to maintain general good health. However, even before we are up and out, our breakfast has already travelled millions of steps to reach us.

An expert has revealed avocado on toast, banana porridge and a traditional fry up travel the most miles to reach our plates.

Miles food has travelled

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In fact, if you’re thinking of adding banana to your porridge, the majority have flown over from the Caribbean, travelling up to 4,600 miles to reach the UK, equating to 9,200,000 steps.

While UK and Irish mushrooms only travel a maximum of 400 miles to get to our plates, the trendy avocado can travel up to 6,321 miles from Peru to London, the equivalent of taking a shocking 12,642,000 steps.

This being said, the research revealed that 10 per cent of respondents will still tuck into avocado on toast at breakfast time.

Sustainability expert

Sustainability Expert, Leanne Wilson, reveals the humble mushroom is the ideal breakfast choice, travelling minimal food miles. It can be utilised in a warming plate of mushrooms on toast in the winter, to a lighter mushroom omelette in the summer.

While the UK grows some of the best local and high-quality produce in the world, stocked directly to our supermarket shelves, recent research of 2,000 adults found 24 per cent of respondents rarely or never consider how environmentally friendly the food they eat is.

Despite this, 62 per cent think they’re ‘quite’ environmentally friendly and nearly one in five reckon they’re ‘very’ sustainable.

Though more than three quarters want to try and be as green as they possibly can in all areas of their life.

Expert Leanne Wilson, speaking on behalf of the UK and Ireland Mushroom Producers, which commissioned the research, said: “The UK and Ireland Mushroom Producers provide enough mushrooms to supply the whole of the UK’s supermarkets, and are available 52 weeks of the year.

“Importing produce such as mushrooms from across the world can spend up to 36 hours in transit just to reach our plates. These international mushrooms are notably less fresh, lower in quality and travel significantly more miles than their locally produced counterparts.

Wilson adds: “Buying British and Irish means supporting local communities, farmers and aids employment opportunities. What’s more, buying local is extremely beneficial for the environment, while simultaneously delivering fresher, more nutritious produce as a result.”

The sustainability of food

When considering how sustainable our food choices are, many Brits think of where it’s been produced, the packaging and the miles its travelled to get to our plates. Although it has emerged that only one in 10 frequently think about how sustainable their food is.

But taste, healthy credentials and convenience were the most important factors when it came to breakfasts, with sustainability ranking last.

Respondents also believed porridge, cereal and fruit salads to be the most sustainable breakfast options – with adults eating the same meal five times per week on average.

Despite this, half of those polled admitted they should be more considerate of how sustainable their breakfast is, but don’t know enough about it.

Growing their own produce

More than half of adults have tried to grow their own produce to reduce their food mileage, though nearly a quarter rarely or never consider buying local produce to reduce the travel involved to their plate.

Vegetables, eggs and fruit were the items adults were most likely to make an effort to buy from sustainable sources – with coffee, clothes and soap also ranking highly.

Yet 67 per cent will turn a blind eye to where certain goods are created or sourced from.

And it was estimated 37 per cent of what respondents buy is sustainable.

A spokesperson from the UK and Ireland Mushroom Producers, added: “It’s clear there’s more to be done in changing the mindset of consumers when it comes to reducing food miles when purchasing produce.

“The battle between convenience and the benefits of buying local produce is ongoing, but vital that sourcing locally wins in order to protect the environment.

“As well as this, the taste of fresher, local produce such as mushrooms does vary hugely as well as helping support farmers within the UK and Ireland.”