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Provenance

April 17, 2007

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Over at Fat Pigeons, they tell us you can get tomatoes from Australia in London, which of course raises the issue of food miles. The issue was brought home to me recently, when I made some tomato sauce from tomatoes whose origin I could not be certain of. My mother purchased them for me from the large produce markets near her. I resorted to this due to the failure of the Brandywines and I planted less of the plentiful Tigerellas. Lesson one.

Here’s the thing; the purchased tomatoes were in boxes that had previously stored kiwifruit. Nothing strange there? A bit of box re-use. Well, these kiwifruits were grown in Italy and shipped to Australia. Why? Why? Shipping refrigerated water around the world – it’s so patently absurd. All in the name of trade.

Given the various climate zones in Australia, I’m sure you have kiwifruit growing somewhere at any given time. This doesn’t eliminate food miles but it certainly reduces them somewhat! Back to the purchased tomatoes….they were probably grown somewhere in eastern Australia but I don’t know where and I can’t really be sure. If kiwifruit are coming from Italy well …….who knows? Second lesson.

The bottled sauce does taste great but each time I look at the jars stored in my pantry, I feel a little uneasy. I try not to do without thinking but how easily was my complicity bought?

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