It was while searching for Cornish-grown tea in London that it fully dawned on me how much of a challenge only eating seasonal British food for an entire year would be. 
I found myself at the Fortnum and Mason tea counter the only shop within a seven mile radius that had it in stock to discover that said tea was £100 for 100g. Safe to say I quickly mumbled an apology and made a swift exit. I decided to stick to mint instead. 
Aside from copius cups of herbal tea, my diet has revolved around root veg. I think Ive probably eaten more turnips, parsnips and celeriac over the past two weeks than at any other point in my life. As many people have pointed out, I now pretty much have the diet of a peasant from the Middle Ages.
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So three weeks into my climate pledge, here is what Ive learnt. 
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Climate change: Decade’s defining issue in pictures
1/20 Athens, Greece
In this decade, humans have become ever more aware of climate change. Calls for leaders to act echo around the globe as the signs of a changing climate become ever more difficult to ignore
2/20 California
Fierce wildfires have flared up in numerous countries. The damage being caused is unprecedented: 103 people were killed in wildfires last year in California, one of the places best prepared, best equipped to fight such blazes in the world
3/20 Redding, California
Entire towns have been razed. The towns of Redding and Paradise in California were all but eliminated in the 2018 season
4/20 Athens, Greece
While wildfires in Greece (pictured), Australia, Indonesia and many other countries have wrought chaos to infrastructure, economies and cost lives
5/20 Carlisle, England
In Britain, flooding has become commonplace. Extreme downpours in Carlisle in the winter of 2015 saw the previous record flood level being eclipsed by two feet
6/20 Hebden Bridge, England
Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire has flooded repeatedly in the past decade, with the worst coming on Christmas Day 2015. Toby Smith of Climate Visuals, an organisation focused on improving how climate change is depicted in the media, says: “Extreme weather and flooding, has and will become more frequent due to climate change. An increase in the severity and distribution of press images, reports and media coverage across the nation has localised the issue. It has raised our emotions, perception and personalised the effects and hazards of climate change.”
7/20 Somerset, England
Out west in Somerset, floods in 2013 led to entire villages being cut off and isolated for weeks
8/20 Dumfries, Scotland
“In summer 2012, intense rain flooded over 8000 properties. In 2013, storms and coastal surges combined catastrophically with elevated sea levels whilst December 2015, was the wettest month ever recorded. Major flooding events continued through the decade with the UK government declaring flooding as one of the nation’s major threats in 2017,” says Mr Smith of Climate Visuals
9/20 London, England
Weather has been more extreme in Britain in recent years. The ‘Beast from the East’ which arrived in February 2018 brought extraordinarily cold temperatures and high snowfall. Central London (pictured), where the city bustle tends to mean that snow doesn’t even settle, was covered in inches of snow for day
10/20 London, England
Months after the cold snap, a heatwave struck Britain, rendering the normally plush green of England’s parks in Summer a parched brown for weeks
11/20 New South Wales, Australia
Worsening droughts in many countries have been disastrous for crop yields and have threatened livestock. In Australia, where a brutal drought persisted for months last year, farmers have suffered from mental health problems because of the threat to their livelihood
12/20 Tonle Sap, Cambodia
Even dedicated climate skeptic Jeremy Clarkson has come to recognise the threat of climate change after visiting the Tonle Sap lake system in Cambodia. Over a million people rely on the water of Tonle Sap for work and sustinence but, as Mr Clarkson witnessed, a drought has severley depleted the water level
13/20 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
In reaction to these harbingers of climate obliteration, some humans have taken measures to counter the impending disaster. Ethiopia recently planted a reported 350 million trees in a single day
14/20 Morocco
Morocco has undertaken the most ambitious solar power scheme in the world, recently completing a solar plant the size of San Francisco
15/20 London, England
Electric cars are taking off as a viable alternative to fossil fuel burning vehicles and major cities across the world are adding charging points to accomodate
16/20 Purmerend, The Netherlands
Cities around the world are embracing cycling too, as a clean (and healthy) mode of transport. The Netherlands continues to lead the way with bikes far outnumbering people
17/20 Xiamen, China
Cycling infrastructure is taking over cities the world over, in the hope of reducing society’s dependency on polluting vehicles
18/20 Chennai, India
Despite positive steps being taken, humans continue to have a wildly adverse effect on the climate. There have been numerous major oil spills this decade, the most notable being the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010
19/20 Amazon rainforest, Brazil
More recently, large swathes of the Amazon rainforest were set alight by people to clear land for agriculture
20/20 California
This decade may have seen horrors but it has led to an understanding that the next decade must see change if human life is to continue
1/20 Athens, Greece
In this decade, humans have become ever more aware of climate change. Calls for leaders to act echo around the globe as the signs of a changing climate become ever more difficult to ignore
2/20 California
Fierce wildfires have flared up in numerous countries. The damage being caused is unprecedented: 103 people were killed in wildfires last year in California, one of the places best prepared, best equipped to fight such blazes in the world
3/20 Redding, California
Entire towns have been razed. The towns of Redding and Paradise in California were all but eliminated in the 2018 season
4/20 Athens, Greece
While wildfires in Greece (pictured), Australia, Indonesia and many other countries have wrought chaos to infrastructure, economies and cost lives
5/20 Carlisle, England
In Britain, flooding has become commonplace. Extreme downpours in Carlisle in the winter of 2015 saw the previous record flood level being eclipsed by two feet
6/20 Hebden Bridge, England
Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire has flooded repeatedly in the past decade, with the worst coming on Christmas Day 2015. Toby Smith of Climate Visuals, an organisation focused on improving how climate change is depicted in the media, says: “Extreme weather and flooding, has and will become more frequent due to climate change. An increase in the severity and distribution of press images, reports and media coverage across the nation has localised the issue. It has raised our emotions, perception and personalised the effects and hazards of climate change.”
7/20 Somerset, England
Out west in Somerset, floods in 2013 led to entire villages being cut off and isolated for weeks
8/20 Dumfries, Scotland
“In summer 2012, intense rain flooded over 8000 properties. In 2013, storms and coastal surges combined catastrophically with elevated sea levels whilst December 2015, was the wettest month ever recorded. Major flooding events continued through the decade with the UK government declaring flooding as one of the nation’s major threats in 2017,” says Mr Smith of Climate Visuals
9/20 London, England
Weather has been more extreme in Britain in recent years. The ‘Beast from the East’ which arrived in February 2018 brought extraordinarily cold temperatures and high snowfall. Central London (pictured), where the city bustle tends to mean that snow doesn’t even settle, was covered in inches of snow for day
10/20 London, England
Months after the cold snap, a heatwave struck Britain, rendering the normally plush green of England’s parks in Summer a parched brown for weeks
11/20 New South Wales, Australia
Worsening droughts in many countries have been disastrous for crop yields and have threatened livestock. In Australia, where a brutal drought persisted for months last year, farmers have suffered from mental health problems because of the threat to their livelihood
12/20 Tonle Sap, Cambodia
Even dedicated climate skeptic Jeremy Clarkson has come to recognise the threat of climate change after visiting the Tonle Sap lake system in Cambodia. Over a million people rely on the water of Tonle Sap for work and sustinence but, as Mr Clarkson witnessed, a drought has severley depleted the water level
13/20 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
In reaction to these harbingers of climate obliteration, some humans have taken measures to counter the impending disaster. Ethiopia recently planted a reported 350 million trees in a single day
14/20 Morocco
Morocco has undertaken the most ambitious solar power scheme in the world, recently completing a solar plant the size of San Francisco
15/20 London, England
Electric cars are taking off as a viable alternative to fossil fuel burning vehicles and major cities across the world are adding charging points to accomodate
16/20 Purmerend, The Netherlands
Cities around the world are embracing cycling too, as a clean (and healthy) mode of transport. The Netherlands continues to lead the way with bikes far outnumbering people
17/20 Xiamen, China
Cycling infrastructure is taking over cities the world over, in the hope of reducing society’s dependency on polluting vehicles
18/20 Chennai, India
Despite positive steps being taken, humans continue to have a wildly adverse effect on the climate. There have been numerous major oil spills this decade, the most notable being the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010
19/20 Amazon rainforest, Brazil
More recently, large swathes of the Amazon rainforest were set alight by people to clear land for agriculture
20/20 California
This decade may have seen horrors but it has led to an understanding that the next decade must see change if human life is to continue
Sticking to local, seasonal food has meant Ive had a reason to go to all the small local markets Ive been telling myself Id visit more often. Its been refreshing to speak to stall holders about their products and where they were grown, rather than aimlessly wondering the aisles of a supermarket trying to choose between 15 varieties of tinned tomatoes.
Last week, I bought a delicious rosemary sourdough that might be the best bread Ive ever eaten and even managed to find pasta that was made in the UK using spelt (one of the oldest cultivated British grains). And as an added bonus, I never end up with a mountain of plastic packaging after my market trips.
Admittedly the things Ive been buying at local markets have been slightly more expensive than at the supermarket. And the vegetables I get in my weekly veg box have cost significantly more.
A selection of local food I picked up at the market (including British pasta)
But overall I think that has been balanced out by the fact I cant get away with buying ready meals or pre-prepared food, as theres no way of telling whether all the ingredients are locally sourced. That said, if you already cook all of your meals at home switching to local food will probably cost you more. 
Eating well when you can only eat whats in season in the middle of January is proving far more interesting. Perhaps the hardest part of sticking to my pledge has been avoiding spices. It just feels wrong. And Im dreading the point when I run out of the black pepper I bought before January.
Im also thoroughly fed up of apples and pears   the only fruit Ive found I can eat. While not technically in season with most stored since being picked in the autumn, I thought I would make an exception to get at least some fruit in my diet.  
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Of course I know there are more than enough British products out there to sustain anyone, its just a case of figuring out to make the best use of whats in season.
It was after a meal at Franklins, a seasonal restaurant which serves dishes made with Kent farm vegetables and rare-breed meats, that I was inspired to cook more adventurous meals using British ingredients. A mackerel salad followed by rainbow trout with kale and beetroot followed by a panna cotta with local honey and quince proved that British food doesn’t need to be bland.  So far Ive been pleased with the root veg soups Ive whipped up, as well as a leek crumble and a butternut squash and butter bean stew. 
Luckily going to the pub has not been an issue thanks to the recent boom in craft beer and gins. And after my pasta discovery Im finding there are more British substitutes for imported products out there than I previously imagined.
But its safe to say I already cant wait till the spring when I can branch out from root veg. Lets just hope I avoid scurvy from a lack of citrus fruits before then.
If you eat and drink primarily local and seasonal food, what suggestions do you have for reasonably-priced UK food and drink I should be trying? And what exceptions do you make?