I eat a lot of lettuce: rocket, little gem, lamb's lettuce, butterhead, Romaine/cos, Chinese cabbage, Webb's Wonder, salad bowl, even the universally chomped but sneered at iceberg. And though there's a polytunnel in the veg garden, I've not yet attempted to grow lettuces in it over the winter. So, in the not so productive months, when I can't resist a crunch of fresh green, I have been known to bite my lip about the food miles and buy imported salad.
But I should know better than to buy it from Spain. I can't remember when over the last few years a well-washed Spanish lettuce hasn't given me gut-churning spasms and worse. But very occasionally I forget to look at the label, or I think I'll just be extra careful with the washing. But no. Whatever it is they do to their exported salad delivers a swift and painful dose of food poisoning.
I've never found a slug in an imported lettuce; if I had, I could at least be reassured that it hadn't been blasted with a chemical cocktail containing bleach and who knows what else. And I could enjoy the extra protein for free.
Apart from exotic fruit such as mangoes, bananas and pineapple that don't grow in the UK, I am going to swear off imported foodstuffs, even if it's being sold in the local market. I know that seasonal is how it should be; that's how I eat 90% of the time, so I'm just going to have to swap my lettuce for leeks and parsnips, which are still there for the pulling in the veg patch. Complete with slug.