Purchasing zero km products buys into a way of life, conserving the landscape, health and sustainability.
Roots of the future are sometimes buried in the past. This is common knowledge among those who rise each morning in the midlands and summits of Gran Canaria to till its crop lands. Also, those who take care of livestock so that their milk and cheese taste unmistakably local, capturing the flavour of the landscape all around us.
This is also achieved, even without trying, by the fishermen who set sail from Arguineguín or Agaete docks at dawn’s first light to return a few hours later with fish, bringing the depths of the ocean and the intensity of the food to your plate, all within the zero km concept.
Backing local produce means reducing carbon dioxide emissions caused by transporting it from other places. In addition, this is fresher, healthier and tastier food, far from the intense conservation or refrigeration processes required by food brought in from over 100 km away, often thousands of kilometres.
What’s more, weather conditions in Gran Canaria mean that production can continue all year round. The island is thereby the ideal place to make sure sustainability is no longer just a pipe dream but something as solid and real as El Roque Nublo.
The zero km or farm-to-fork philosophy has as many advantages for the consumer as for the land. Purchasing local produce boosts the local economy and creates jobs, and it is also the most effective way of conserving biodiversity and a rural, seafaring way of life which is the very essence of Gran Canaria. Let’s not forget that maintaining the agricultural plots helps to create a mosaic landscape that acts as a natural fire-break against forest fires.
Consequently, every piece of land with life, each flock of roaming sheep, each bee-keeper and each man or woman working on a vine shines a light against the shadows of abandoning a lifestyle, which is crucial to keep up the local fight against global climate change.
To look after both yourself and the environment, just pop into the village markets and shops. This alternative has the great advantage of bringing you into direct contact with local producers. You can also scour your supermarket for product labels that verify sustainability and proximity.
However, your support for local produce can be just a click away. For example, there’s the Gran Canaria Me Gusta initiative digital market set up by the Cabildo, working with the Chamber of Commerce, that has a catalogue of around 250 products from over fifty sales points throughout the island.
Also, the Km.0 Gran Canaria Fair (Feria Km.0 Gran Canaria) initiative organises events around selling local produce throughout the island to back the local primary sector and promote a more sustainable and healthier consumption model. At the same time, it offers the perfect calendar to combine healthy eating with knowledge of different places in Gran Canaria.
Therefore, there are more opportunities than excuses to help out farmers who plough a furrow to sow potatoes or fishermen who scan the horizons for signs, maybe seagulls wheeling over the surface, of a school of fish with the same hope as someone who dreams of a more sustainable planet.
Gran Canaria is an island of many flavours