It seems that lately many people have begun to stress the importance of eating locally-sourced and sustainably-grown food. There are many different schools of thought on this issue. Some of them espouse the idea that eating local food is better for the environment; others stress that local, sustainable food tastes noticeably better. While different groups emphasise different aspects of the practice, both ideas are true. Local, responsible food does help the environment as well as taste better. Here are a few reasons why.
How it Helps the Environment
When you buy food from far away, it is likely grown on a factory farm. In these farms, animals are confined to small spaces so they can increase their numbers: the factory is able to make more money when it is able to confine more pigs. The pigs are then slaughtered mechanically. Often, the butchered portions will be frozen and shipped all over the world. The process of raising and butchering the pigs requires a massive amount of natural resources to run the various machines. Then, even more resources are burned when shipping the meat around the world by plane, boat, and truck. These vehicles release pollution into the air and consume fossil fuels. By the time this food arrives at your table, it has cost the environment a great deal.
Alternately, local food does not have these effects on the environment. For example, pigs grown on a Welsh farm can be raised humanely. They consume feed that does not require complex machinery and the burning of fossil fuels to create. They are slaughtered humanely and shipped quickly to their destination. The reduction in shipping distance alone reduces the environmental impact. Since the meat you receive is so fresh, it is perfect for some of the best Welsh pork recipes.
Why it Tastes Better
Local, sustainable ingredients taste better than food from far away for several reasons. For one, freezing food often robs it of much of its flavour and complex structure. When you freeze food, you cause the water inside it to expand. That expansion can rupture cell walls and disturb the natural balance of elements in the meat. That can result in meat that loses some of its flavour. Also, the longer you have to wait before the meat gets to your house, the more flavour it loses. If you need meat for your recipes, you should find a local source. A local farmer or butcher could be a great resource.
Lastly, local food tastes better because those pigs also eat better. Factory farms give pigs the cheapest feed they can find. Local farmers take pride in growing healthy pigs on high-quality feed. The vitamins and minerals in a quality feed make a world of difference when it comes to the flavour of the finished product.
You should look for recipes for pork from the professionals who make it for a living. Farmers, butchers, and chefs can offer you the best advice on finding pork, cooking it, and serving it.