Veganuary: Why not try ‘Reganuary’ instead, cutting out the food miles by supporting local farmers?

‘It’s not the cow, but the how – it’s where our food comes from that is the problem’.

Monday, 3rd January 2022, 2:15 pm

While it has been reported that more than two million people are taking part in ‘Veganuary’ this year, farmers are encouraging consumers to consider how far their food has travelled.

The Veganuary challenge encourages people to cut their carbon footprint by turning vegan for the month of January, but one County Down farmer has suggested giving ‘Reganuary’ a try instead.

Andrew Beck from Nature’s Nosh near Annalong, has urged people to support local farmers working with nature, instead of sourcing foods which have “travelled thousands of miles to get here”.

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The Beck family run a rare breed farm, ethically producing grass fed beef, lamb and chicken.

Taking to social media at the start of this month, Andrew asked, “why not support your local farmer?”.

“You can bet he or she will appreciate it much more than any of our big name supermarkets.

“Fresh meat, veg and dairy is available to us all within a few miles from home.

“This isn’t a post against vegetarianism, more a post highlighting that it’s where our food comes from that is the problem.

“It’s not the cow, but the how. Know your farmer this January,” he encouraged.

Andrew shared his views alongside a tweet from an arable farmer in England.

In the tweet, the farmer stated he ‘loves the irony of Veganuary’.

“Let’s stop eating meat for a month to save the planet,” he penned.

“Let’s choose the month that the UK hasn’t got a massive amount of seasonal veg. Let’s then import more veg to save the planet.”

Meanwhile, Welsh farmer Gareth Wyn Jones shared a video on the topic from his own vegetable plot, where he was picking seasonal veg for his supper.

The TV farming personality referred to an article he had read in relation to Veganuary and how he was saddened to see the foods that were depicted with it.

“At this time of year, there is a lot of talk about Veganuary, which is a personal choice,” Gareth told his followers.

“What we should be doing, if we are looking at eating a healthy, balanced diet, is get it out of the ground.

“Let’s be sensible about this.

“If you want to eat something, there’s nothing that is going to be better than fresh, local, seasonal produce for us.”

The uplands farmer said sourcing homegrown produce is “going to help with our carbon footprint”.

“It’s all about painting a better picture of food production,” he added.

“I’m a meat eater, as you know I’m a farmer as well.

“But, I’m a big believer in eating vegetables, fruits, and getting that balanced diet.

“So, good luck to everybody that’s doing Veganuary. I won’t be because I’ve got a freezer full of sustainable, environmentally friendly meat, the majority of them I’ve produced myself. And, I’ve got a really good veg plot as well!” he ended.