One of my new years healthy resolutions is to buy more local and organic produce, I have been trying to do this for a while but sometimes the convenience of the supermarket gets the better of me. At the end of last year I discovered Food Life Organic who deliver organic locally produced fruit and vegetables in my local area, although they are predominantly a fruit and vegetable box scheme, they also sell organic eggs (which I also order), dairy, organic meat and fish and hampers amongst other things.
There is a common misconception that healthy (especially organic) food is more expensive, it definitely can be when shopping in convenience stores or the supermarkets. Ordering from a local fruit & veg scheme definitely helps to keep the cost down, I have recently ordered the ‘doug’ standard organic vegetable box (£11.15) which is enough for 2-3 people a week and the ‘Felicity’ medium organic fruit & veg box which is £16.50 (enough for 2-4 people a week. The contents of the box would definitely cost a lot more if bought from my local supermarket. There are a wide variety of boxes to choose from, you can visit their online shop to see which one would be the most suitable for you.
Another issue I have with buying from the supermarkets is the lack of organic fruit and veg, there is usually a small selection, some supermarkets are better than others but I definitely feel better knowing everything I have ordered is organic. I also love eating seasonal fruit and vegetables, the website usually lists what will be in the boxes for the following week, you can let them know if there is anything you won’t eat and they will replace that with something else. The weekly newsletter contains recipes that take into account the contents of the box which is really useful. I like to check what’s going to be in that weeks box and then search online for some new recipe inspiration, I usually always make one or two of my own favourite recipes, (see below)
What are the benefits of buying local, organic and seasonal produce?
Seasonal fruits and vegetables are picked at the height of freshness and offer higher nutritional content than the out of season produce that is on offer all year round in the supermarkets. Seasonal foods are much more nutritious, providing our bodies with an array of important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to help us enjoy optimal health.
Organically grown seasonal foods are produced in a sustainable manner by farmers who care about the planet not just their profits. Sustainable farming also equals healthier produce, by not using toxic chemicals, pesticides and not growing genetically modified crops, the foods produced are nutritionally superior to conventionally raised foods, they also taste much better, I really can tell the difference.
Eating local and seasonal reduces the miles the food has had to travel to reach you which cuts back on fuel used which in turn reduces pollution. I feel better knowing that by making the conscious choice to purchase seasonal and local food I am taking positive steps towards helping the environment.
Buying local, seasonal and organic helps support your local farmers which helps to grow the local economy, also as mentioned above, buying local produce is cheaper and you get much more for your money with the knowledge that you are helping local farmers to stay in business.
If you (like me) are trying to be a bit (or a lot) healthier in 2015 why not try ordering from your local fruit and veg delivery company, you can simply google ‘organic fruit and veg delivery in (your area)’ that’s how I came across Food Life Organic and if you live in the Manchester area I would definitely recommend this company.
My tips for getting the most out of your delivery.
- Take advantage of seasonal products by challenging yourself to create a new recipe with each new box.
- Make batches of soups, stews, chillies etc and freeze to eat over the next few weeks (or in the fridge to eat for lunches during the week)
- Chop up onions, celery, carrots etc and freeze to use as a base when making soups and stews.
- Cut up fruit and create individual smoothie packs that you can throw in the blender with some milk / water to make a smoothie when your in a rush.
Some recent recipes I have used using my organic fruit & veg boxes include: