Britons 'desire self-sufficiency'

Salisbury Journal: One in four people are growing their own food, baking bread or making jams, according to a new survey One in four people are growing their own food, baking bread or making jams, according to a new survey

Eight out of 10 of Britons yearn to become more self-sufficient, according to a survey.

The poll by speciality cheese maker Butlers Farmhouse Cheeses reveals that a majority of people would prefer a simpler, self-reliant existence - free from the pressures of modern living and consumerism.

Eighty-two per cent of those questioned said they craved a homespun lifestyle, with a third wanting to emulate Tom and Barbara Good from the classic '70s TV sitcom The Good Life.

One in four claimed to be either growing their own food, baking bread or making jam and chutney in an effort to become more self-sufficient.

The poll also suggested the notion of keeping up with the Joneses has been turned on its head, with 31% saying that their neighbours and friends now liked to boast about how self-reliant they were.

As a result, competitive parents have started exaggerating their own home-making abilities - almost a quarter (22%) saying they had lied about their skills. More than a third (34%) admitted to passing off shop food as their own, with 15% even passing off designer clothes as second-hand or charity-shop bargains.

However, the survey of 1,000 people revealed the economic downturn has led to families making changes to their lifestyle - 45% saying they wasted less food, 43% choosing to eat at home rather than dining out and 33% prepared to fix broken items rather than throwing them out.

Peter Elvin, of Butlers Farmhouse Cheeses, said: "People aspire to make their own foods but not many actually manage it on a day-to-day basis and some foods are perceived as just too hard to make. While people were already making bread, jam and chutneys, only 3% have started experimenting with making cheese.

"We hope that even if most people aren't yet making their own products that they remain interested in the massive range of foods from small producers that you can now buy on farmers' markets and in local shops and perhaps this will inspire more people to have a go themselves."

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