Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Organic Free Range Healthy Happy GUILTGUILTGUILT!

The organic free-range buying, compost-making recycler. I wish I was that guy. I try so hard to eat well, but that for me means more fruit and veg and less fat, and I forget that on top of these aspects of my newly-revised shopping list, I have other things to worry about.

I have always bought free range eggs, and we started recycling at the beginning of the year (it sortof petered out though) but my new need to eat better food has meant cheap veg and cheap tinned stuff and cheap pasta and...well, cheap everything. 10 bananas for £1. 500g onions for £1.30. I live off this stuff. It makes me feel like I'm a baddie though, as most of the time this food is flown from far far away [so not locally grown], grown in huge crops [so laden with pesticides and probably 'Frankenstine'-esque] and budget [let's face it, Value mince is not the way forward :( ]

Of course we'd all love to eat organically grown, locally sourced produce, but how many of us can really afford it? At the moment I am living off around £15 a week on food, which includes packed lunches at work, tea time and everything. Considering that a small box of delivered organic veg is £9 including the delivery charge my other options of farmer's markets and organic sections at supermarkets (who really, if I was going to go the whole ethical hog, I wouldn't give my money to) are limited. In Leeds, the UK's 3rd most impoverished city, there is a LOT of cheap supermarket options. The farmer's market which I only just found out about is on every 1st and 3rd Sunday of every month may provide a welcome alternative to Nettos, but I have abruptly arrived at my first point - Could I afford it? Farm shops, such as Keelham Farm Shop near Bradford are exactly the type of thing I was looking for...but how am I going to get my (reuseable) carrier bags back from there laden with goodies? It's a tricky one.

I have heard that farm shopping can work out a lot cheaper than supermarket prices, if you were going to buy the decent stuff. Things like sausages, chickens, potatoes and jams will be of better quality and at a reasonable price, but will still not be able to compete with the rock-bottom prices of supermarket value ranges. I've already given up eating chicken because I can't afford free range, I might have to give up sausages and all other kinds of meat too....and Andy won't be too happy with that revelation. He's already cut back on the Pepperamis, no more bacon might be the last straw.

My budget might have to be waived a little. Perhaps if I am prepared to spend less on alcohol (!!) then I could afford better food. It's a thought. Food is getting rather expensive these days, and I'd rather not go back to the days of fried value egg sandwiches every day for a month. I'm going to have to think about this one a lot more seriously.

By the way, I found this website useful in finding yummy places in my area - pop your postcode in and it tells you everything you wanted to know! www.freerangereview.com
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