A locally-sourced long weekend: Isles of Scilly

A couple of weeks ago Ollie and I went to visit his family in the Isles of Scilly. The isles are found off the coast of Cornwall and are a beautiful and peaceful place to spend a few days. We stayed on the main island St. Mary’s, where there’s plenty to do and see like visit star castle, go on nature or coastal walks, visit ancient ruins,  and relax on the beach if the weather is good. Everything is no more than an hours walk too so it’s a great place to stretch your legs and reduce your carbon footprint!

The windy walks were definitely one of my favourite parts of the trip, helping me unwind and disconnect from my busy tech-heavy city life.

Another best bit has to be the food! I was really impressed by the number of veggie options on the menu of most cafes and restaurants. My favourite meal was definitely at Tolman Cafe, where I had a red pepper, butternut squash and coconut soup to start, and a vegan African stew with butternut squash, tomato, spinach and peanut butter for my main. It was incredible – highly recommend it!

Many of the cafes and restaurants use locally-grown produce and there are plenty of local shops. We stocked up on deliciously fresh veg in Seaways farm shop. We also bought a few of our favourite vegan treats in The Farm Deli, which sells a mixture of homemade items, local favourites, and health foods.

So what’s so good about local food?

  • It’s full of flavour – when grown locally, the crops are picked at their peak of ripeness and are usually available for you to purchase within 24 hours. When shipped to your local retail store from other countries, crops are instead harvested early and are often less flavoursome.
  • It’s seasonal – eating local food means eating what can be grown naturally in your area at that time of the year. It is therefore less energy intensive than growing food out of season, or shipping food from other countries.
  • It has a higher nutrient content – research has found food loses nutrient value with time. As local food has a shorter time between harvest and your table, it is therefore likely the nutrient value is higher than that exported from across the globe.
  • You are supporting the local economy – produce bought with local farmers puts money into the community that will be reinvested with local businesses.
  • It has a lower carbon footprint – local food hasn’t traveled as far, and therefore has fewer air miles needed for packing, shipping and distribution to your local store.
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