Saturday, 6 September 2008

Why it's still worth buying organic

I spent the best part of today at the Organic Food Festival in Bristol, doing a demonstration in the Bordeaux Quay demo kitchen (thanks to all those brave souls who turned up in the pouring rain) then wandering round the stalls.

Thankfully there was little sign of the reported slump in organic sales. Although I would have said the numbers were down marginally on last year there was still an impressively large number of people milling - or rather sploshing - around. (When is it ever going to stop raining?)

The media who love a bad news story are convinced we've all switched to shopping at Aldi and Lidl but I'm not so sure. Those who have been convinced by the arguments for organic food (eloquently expressed on the Soil Association's website) are not suddenly going to stop being concerned about the effects of chemicals on the environment and in the food chain. And as readers of this blog will know it's perfectly possible to cut back in other ways - by buying less expensive cuts, and wasting less food, for example.

I did most of my weekend shopping there and with loads of special festival offers didn't pay over the odds for it. All the lovely veggies above, plus several others, came to just over £8 and there were some great offers on organic chicken and other meat. I also got a litre bottle of gorgeous organic olive oil for just £6.80. If you're within reach of Bristol the festival's still on tomorrow. If not organic fortnight is coming up so you may well find special offers on organic food nearer home.

Finally for those people who attended the demo and wanted the recipe for Mexican salsa chicken you'll find it here and the pea and ham soup here.

The Moroccan spice mix I used in the fish couscous recipe is 1 tsp each ground coriander and cumin, 1/2 tsp turmeric and 1/4 tsp chilli powder or hot paprika. (It's worth making a bigger quantity and keeping it in a jar. Use about 2-3 tsp at a time).


Jean said...

I always buy organic dairy products even though I'm on a fairly tight budget. I just feel that dairy products have so many chemicals and hormones in them and I don't want my daughters to injest them.
I'm not as strict about fruit and veg being organic, although I buy it sometimes if it's affordable.

Fiona Beckett said...

I think it's a question of balance notsupermum. Trying when you can to buy organic, settling for conventional produce if it's overpriced. I tend to buy local fruit and veg whenever possible. Even if its not registered organic it's less likely to be heavily sprayed.

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