Vegetables Take Action on Local Food

11th March 2004

News Release

For immediate release: 11th March 2004

Photo Opportunity

Members of Manchester FoE will be available at the Farmers’ Market (Tib Street) between 10 am and midday on Saturday 13th March. They will be dressed as vegetables and giving out promotional materials.

High resolution photos available

On Saturday 13th March, between 10:00am and midday, members of Manchester Friends of the Earth will be dressed as vegetables at the Manchester Farmers’ Market to launch the Manchester Real Food Guide (, their brand new web-based guide to ‘real food’.

GM food has been in the news this week with New Labour’s announcement that they will fly in the face of public opinion and allow the commercial planting of GM crops. However, as the Real Food Guide explains, there are three other dimensions to real food: local, organic and fair trade.

Local food benefits the economy and cuts down on pollution from transport.Organic food protects wildlife and consumers from the dangers of chemicals used in modern agriculture.And Fair Trade means that the people who produce the food get a better deal. This launch is in Fair Trade Fortnight, a national celebration of Fair Trade.

Some excerpts from the guide:

“Locally produced food travels much shorter distances, which cuts down on pollution. For example, supermarket food travels on average 1,000 miles, compared with just 30 to a farmers’ market.”

“Studies have shown that pesticide residues on many of the fruit and vegetables regularly consumed in the UK exceed recommended levels. More than 500 chemicals are allowed to be used by UK farmers who spray about one billion gallons of them each year. A Cox’s apple on the supermarket shelf is treated with 35 pesticides before it reaches you.”

Ali Abbas, Real Food Campaigner with Manchester Friends of the Earth, is confident that the public will make use of this guide:

“What this website does is bring together the why and the how. People can find out why real food is better for their health, the environment and their local community. There are examples of different ways to find real food, and our directory lists the local outlets where they can try it out and get real!”


Notes to Editors

[1] Manchester Friends of the Earth is a prominent pressure group, raising awareness and lobbying for policy changes at a local, regional, national and international level. The group consists entirely of volunteers, and its campaigns are funded by membership fees and individual donations. Up-to-date information is available on their website: Manchester Friends of the Earth is part of a national network of local groups, affiliated to the national organisation (further information can be found at