Organic living

It all started with the humble tomato. Perusing the mainly plastic packaged tomatoes in the supermarket, I had always assumed that buying loose tomatoes was ‘better for the planet.’ Then the thought occurred to me, what if they are wrapped up in twice the packaging for transport? What if they have travelled twice the distance to store? What if that variety of tomato requires twice as much water and pesticides to grow? My mind started to boggle, so I headed to the store’s website to allay my fears.

Made in Australia,’ that’s all I got. After writing my usual, ‘why don’t you have any information on your website query,’ I resolved that I don’t have to buy any tomatoes from the supermarket, I can grow them myself… except it’s winter, I live in a flat with a small balcony and do not have green fingers (yet).

Option #2 was to again go online but this time to find a local provider of organic, minimally packaged, seasonal fruit and vegetables. A long checklist but amazingly, I was spoilt for choice!

I eventually settled on Ooooby because they provide information in each box about which farm the food is from and how far it has travelled (my original pain points). I’m fascinated to learn what’s in season when and to try new fruit and veg that I wouldn’t buy myself. They also partner with the aforementioned Bread and Butter Project to delivery buns and loaves and I may have added a sneaky jar of The Urban Beehive honey to the order with glee. This is how shopping should be, you should feel excited and proud of who you’re supporting and why.

Others of note include, The Organic Scarecrow and Community Organics (Sydney region). Different providers will give you recipe ideas or options to tailor what’s in your box. It’s up to you to decide what’s important to you.

I’m amazed how within a day I have transformed from a cost conscious shopper, yes I am that person that looks at the price per kg to work out the best value vs best price, to a cash splashing organic produce buyer and I’m not looking back. Once the box arrives, I will share my taste vs price evaluation.

After hovering over the buy button for a worm farm for several weeks, I have found ShareWaste, a site that lets you drop off kitchen scraps with willing neighbours to do the composting for you.

I have also signed up to a local community garden group. Currently under construction but less than 10mins away, I’m optimistic that I might learn how to grow the basics to supplement my vegetarian diet.

The lesson here is to send the angry emails AND switch away whilst they sort out their priorities. I thought I was taking action by messaging brands, pointing out their deficiencies, but it felt much better to stop blaming others, put my money where my mouth is and start making the change myself.

Note: Post COVID-19, the best place to shop for local produce is at your local market. Buying just what you need and getting to meet the maker, what could be better!

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Designing a better life in 2020.

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