Edinburgh has many places to find sustainable and eco-friendly food – Angus Robertson MSP

Twenty years ago, it was still common for people to scoff at shops catering to eco-friendly, vegan and vegetarian lifestyles.

Monday, 17th January 2022, 4:45 pm
Reuben Chesters is managing director of social enterprise Locavore
Reuben Chesters is managing director of social enterprise Locavore

Today, the nay-sayers have been shown up. Sustainable food shops are popping up all over the city.

Choosing to use these instead of or to supplement our food shopping choices has all sorts of benefits.

The main positives are, of course, environmental. The reduction of long transportation of produce; the reduction – and often complete elimination – of any chemical treatments; and the eradication of packaging waste.

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Furthermore, local jobs are created not only in the shops themselves but in the farming of the produce.

The latest sustainable shopping addition in Edinburgh is a new branch of the social enterprise, Locavore, based on Dalry Road.

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“We need to make massive changes to the food system, including how we farm, eat and shop in order to tackle the climate and biodiversity emergencies,” says managing director Reuben Chesters.

He is, of course, right. To really make the impact, we must become as used to going to sustainable shops as we are used to going to big-name supermarkets.

We do have the evidence that the impact can be made.

Kelly Wright, owner of the Refillery, which has branches in Newington and Corstorphine, says customers have saved over half a million pieces of plastic by purchasing alternatives to the non-degradable products they may otherwise get at their local supermarket.

So, if a sustainable food outlet opens up near you, jump at the opportunity to support shops like Locavore, the Refinery, Real Foods on Broughton Street, Eco Larder on Howe Street and many others.

Angus Robertson is the SNP MSP for Edinburgh Central and Constitution, External Affairs and Culture Secretary

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