When did you last eat fresh produce?

Probably never if you’ve always shopped at a supermarket, for their produce has to be chilled, stored or worse to preserve it from grower to distribution centre to articulated transporter to shop to shelf, which doesn’t leave a lot of time or room for fresh in its true sense.

Eating fruit or vegetables picked by yourself from where they grow is an ecstasy alien to the concept of the supermarket and is the price to pay for convenience they offer. Convenience when used in conjunction with supermarkets is not common hassle-free sense of the word, but a marketing term which ignores annoyance, hard work, time and expense which a visit to a supermarket involves.

I certainly don’t have the time or garden space or even the climate to grow all my fruit and veg, so the next best option is to purchase it from a greengrocer which sources as much local produce as possible. We are so fortunate to have Norman’s at 40 High Street, Ilfracombe, from whom we enjoy the best home-grown lettuces we’ve had for years, Braunton potatoes grown 10 miles or so up the road and a superb selection of other seasonal produce.

What’s more we can walk there and back (although they do deliver in town), so we save the wear and tear on our car and the cost our fuel spent getting to a supermarket and back, which makes the shopping bill lower even before we’ve entered the shop. Also, when we have had to use a supermarket in an emergency when we’ve forgotten something, the supermarket produce can be more expensive, so don’t believe the advertising spiel that they are necessarily cheaper.

It probably doesn’t take any more time than going to a local supermarket, but I think we eat much better. This is what real choice is.

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