Every single one has, at some point, heard the term local food. You also probably have a pretty clear view on how you feel about the subject. Local food is widely considered to be nothing more than a more expensive version of regular food that doesn’t even taste any different!
In today’s world you are being bombarded with information all around you. You do not want to burden yourself with facts like how to save the planet or how to reduce your carbon footprint when you are doing your grocery shopping. You want to get in and out of the shop as quickly as possible and with as little bother as possible. We are slaves to routines and grocery shopping definitely is something where people have formed different kinds of routines. Of course some like to think these questions and make choices accordingly but I dare to say that majority of us doesn’t. Funnily enough, we probably have more important things on our minds and we rarely think too much into the future nowadays.
So how to change people’s shopping routines at a time when everybody wants everything immediately, without any hassle and with as little cost as possible? How to get information out to general public in a way that it doesn’t feel like a “yet another campaign for good health and a better world”? Impossible to say to be honest but at least there are signs to see that imply that bigger food companies are taking local food more seriously than before (at least in Finland).
I have seen local food being promoted many times in grocery stores, local products being located in the central area of the store etc. The results have been positive and local foods are gaining ground in the food market. People are becoming more aware and are more interested in the origins of their food products and they make choices accordingly.
So why not try something that helps people to quickly get information about food’s origin, carbon footprint and other ecological information? This would give local and organic products advance over products that don’t give this information. What if stores would start marketing ecological products in the same way they market cheap prices? What about big signs, short catch phrases or pictures that fill our brains with thoughts about taking responsibility instead of choosing the easy way out? Go wild! How about an app that gives people that information via phone and (in the future) by glasses? We could add an appcode to the local food info/price tag and by taking a photo of the code you could get the information about the food product to your phone. This wouldn’t be too big of a leap from grocery list apps and such if you ask me. Of course this again requires some effort from the consumer. I would like to think there are some people out there who could be interested in making an exception to their routines in the store and maybe choose to do something to help save both ourselves and our nature.
What would it take for you to knowingly change your habits and choose a more ecological product? Or have you already done so?