Fancy going 100% organic for a month?

July 9, 2006

It’s very exciting to discover a great foodie shop on your doorstep. On the way back from work yesterday I got off the bus at an earlier stop than normal to check out Just Natural at the bottom of Muswell Hill. We’d noticed this place walking past before, mainly because it had a sign outside advertising ‘Ffair trade’ products and wondered whether Arkwright from Open All Hours had opened an organic store.

It’s bigger than it looks from outside with shelves stacked with conscience-massaging goodies. Most excitingly it stocks genuine soil-association certified meat from Graig Farm in Wales. I bought a pack of chicken livers for a salad for dinner, taking advantage of Maths chick being out for the evening to indulge my offal obsession. Graig Farm could be a possibe answer to the on-going quest for quality, free-range rare-breed pork. They got some damn-happy looking pigs.

Discovering this organic emporium just down the road has prompted me to consider trying an experiment I’ve been thinking of doing for a while: buying 100% organic food for a month. How much would this cost? Is it possible? Would we have to change our diet to acheive it? Would we have the discipline to completely change our buying habits for over four weeks?

What do you think? Is this possible? Would it cost too much? Anyone fancy joining us with this experiment?

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18 Responses to “Fancy going 100% organic for a month?”

  1. Cloggie Says:

    Great idea, would be really interested to find out how easy it is to do. My guess is that you might have to spend more time shopping to get everything you want and for that reason I’m not volunteering to join but will continue to enjoy following your adventures!

  2. crzy_rgntnn Says:

    I think this would be too adventurous for my junk eating/ignorant shopping habits… Plus, I am in another country so price comparison would not be very helpful… You should take a picture of you “before” and “after” so that we can compare the effects. Good luck!

  3. BB's Richard Says:

    And take a photo of your bank balance before and after!

  4. vegboxdiary Says:

    OK, so maybe it’s a bit ambitious. Also, there is the issue of whether all food I eat has to be organic – including going out for meals?? I’m not sure this is possible. I think like any pioneering expedition, this is going to require months of planning. Watch this space…

  5. crzy_rgntnn Says:

    Months of planning?!?!? Oh, dear… (By now your vast audience may have discovered you are not Latin…) I was already excited about the idea of my Riverford superhero going 100% organic for a month… Come on, Toaster, it can’t be THAT expensive/complicated…
    The question is: are Tetley tea bags organic?

  6. vegboxdiary Says:

    That’s a good question, crzy… I’ll have to do at least a couple of weeks research into the origin of tetley’s tea leaves. Are they free trade? Are they ‘fully traceable’. It’s all so complicated.

  7. Kinson Says:

    Tetley Organic:

    http://www.tetley.co.uk/UK/ProductsandOffers/OurProducts/

    “It is certified by the Organic Food Federation.” – never heard of them.

    Interesting what the readers think are priorities – myself, it’s

    1 Animal welfare
    2 Free range
    3 Fair trade
    4 Organic

    I care more about the animals rather than the humans involved 😉

    Is tap water organic?

  8. gastropunk Says:

    Kinson, Thanks for the low-down on Tetley’s organic. Eee-by-gum, indeed.

    Here’s what my priorities are, when it comes to meat:

    1. It tastes great.
    2. Which depends on the animal being happy and reared naturally.
    3. It’s killed, hung and packaged properly.
    4. It’s come from a local famr, so the food miles are low and it’s likely to be fresher.

    I think if you insist on a great, natural product then all the benefits of animal welfare, environmental sustainability etc will follow.

    I agree that organic is not the be-all-and-end-all. Particularly not with meat.

  9. crzy_rgntnn Says:

    Gosh, I realise I am not that sophisticated…

    Here are my priorities:

    1. Tastes good
    2. I feel like eating it

    I´m starting to wonder whether I am in the right blog…

  10. gastropunk Says:

    hola crzy,
    donde has estado?
    you’re in the right blog… it’s always good to have the south american perspective on things 😉

  11. crzy_rgntnn Says:

    Thanks Toaster 🙂
    I’ll keep on adding a “crzy rgntnn” perspective then… (but I don´t think I can speak for the whole continent!)

  12. peregrina Says:

    I did a month last autumn, not organic, just not buying anything in a supermarket. I had to admit defeat in the end on loo paper and – strangely – unsalted butter. Otherwise it was great. It made me think about what I was going to eat instead of just going aimlessly to Tesco’s, and it made shopping much more personal and social. The effects have lasted, too.

  13. gastropunk Says:

    Unsalted butter – how odd that you found that difficult to get. There’s a guy selling pats of it down the farmer’s market we go to. I guess supermarkets are the only places selling recycled bog roll. Sometimes I think supermarkets are the root-of-all-evil and other times I think it’s worth supporting their organic ranges to encourage them to stock more of this stuff. But, as you say, it’s interesting the way shopping in small local shops and markets makes you really think about what you’re cooking and eating. And it’s good to speak to shop-owners who really understand and care about their products.

  14. fromme Says:

    Hello! Found you thanks to ‘this week’s box’ and guessed that if Guy could manage to interpret Londonspeak down here in sunny Devon, perhaps I could too! (being an Essex girl by original orientation and an occasional visitor to the big smoke – not in this weather though!) I’m not sure how you get organic loo rolls but I’m with Kinson on the Fair Trade and have been getting my recycled(!)loo rolls (in bulk- fewer miles/roll)from Traidcraft for years as well as lots of other fair traded goodies http://www.traidcraftshop.co.uk. Not sure how they go about organic certification in the developing world but I ‘spect factory farming is not really how they go about things there.

  15. gastropunk Says:

    fromme, cheers for the tip on ffair trade loo rolls. we’ll try to keep the cockneyisms to a minumum for our west country friends…

  16. Antlia Says:

    What a great site. I’ve had a really good browse.I want it all. I want organic + animal wellfare + freerange + fairtrade + Tastes good all in one meal, every meal every day, but then I’m a Virgo perfectonist. However reality has yet to catch up with my dreams. I think trying 100% organic for amonth is a great idea. Set the dates and I’ll join you. AND/OR you could try a month on each priority and see what happens….

  17. gastropunk Says:

    Perfectionist Virgo, thanks for the enthusiasm for this idea. To tell you the truth, I’m quite nervous about how much planning and discipline this kind of project would require. Also – would it mean getting rid of all non-organic store-cupboard items before starting? How would that limit the range of meals you could make? My eco-conscience is at odds with my love of good food on this issue. I’m going to go on holiday to Scotland and think about what the priorities should be on this one…


  18. Hi, I have invented a 100% Organic Planting system, I wanted to grow a garden because of the economic crisis and I like the taste of garden fruits and vegetables my problem was I live on a mountian top. I created this in my work shop, I grew 250 fruits and vegetables on the front walls of my 500 sq ft mountain cabin. I grew so much that I had to learn how to “CAN”. My neighbors and friends convinced me at a neighborhood meeting to start building the planting system. Now we are! got farmyourbackyard.com I hope we may help you if your are looking to go organic!!!


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