Organic, naturally different?

A few weeks ago I went to an organic debate and dinner organised by the Organic Trade Board. I was coming from uni and unfortunately missed most of the debate, but it sounded like some interesting discussion was going on.

Dinner was catered by the fabulous MsMarmitelover. It was delicious and very, very filling. The appetiser was vegetable crudités with dips such as hummus and baba ghanoush, very simple but the people around me were in raptures over the raw vegetables.

That’s really the thing that sets organic apart for me – the flavour. Readers will probably know that for years now I have had a regular organic veg box delivery from Riverford. The quality is just so much better from most of the veg I’ve bought from the supermarket, and really consistent too. There are things I will only buy from them, such as lemons or clementines, because I am often so disappointed when I taste the supermarket alternative.

Even now that I am nearing harvest time for a lot of my organic home-grown crops – and I should really write an update on that soon – I will have to supplement what I grow with the odd veg box from Riverford to top up on essentials.

Unfortunately I didn’t get any photos of the event myself, as I had a long day of work and school and couldn’t carry my camera with me, but here are some of the official photos from the event:

Toynbee Hall - Table with flowers (2)

Main - Dover Sole en papillote

Miss Marmite Lover - Kerstin Rodgers - Dessert

People think that organic can be expensive, and elitist, but we really need to take a long, hard look at how we produce our food. A lot of conventionally-produced food has hidden costs for animal welfare, the environment, and the workers who produce it. “Cheap” food also encourages us to waste a lot more, where if not properly recycled it will rot down in landfill producing methane and causing even more environmental problems.

Organic may not be the be all and end all but we do need to start farming more responsibly. Current policy in the UK is to increase food production but to seek to do so in an environmentally sustainable way. I’m looking forward to reading the conclusions of Defra’s current Green Food Project. Of course, we as consumers can help drive demand for more responsibly produced food, and know that we are doing our bit for the planet in the process.

For more information on organic, as well as recipes and competitions go to the Organic UK website.


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