Since I gave up supermarkets around the middle of last year I’ve been getting my veg from a mixture of places, mostly the Open Market which has very cheap fruit and veg, a fairly large selection and friendly staff/owners who recognise and reward their ‘regulars’. Trouble is, the business is local but the food gets shipped in from all over. So it’s a lot better than Sainsbury’s, but I still don’t feel like I’m doing enough.
After a bit of investigation I have found that there are a few veg box suppliers, some of whom supply local stuff. It’s all quite confusing though as some of them are apparently mostly local, but not completely and some are mostly organic, but not completely. I know I should probably just phone them all and quiz them but somehow that seems quite daunting, especially as to my shame I really don’t know a great deal about vegetables – except what they taste like!
Today I decided to try another angle: Local farmers markets. Brighton has three per month, all in different places. Today was the one near Hove station, so I plodded over there to meet my friend Beth, who knows about such things already.
Unfortunately – or maybe fortunately, as it helped curb my spending – a lot of the stalls were selling cheese, eggs and other stuff that I don’t eat anyway as I’m vegan. I’ve also decided to complicate matters somewhat by giving up wheat this month as an experiment to see if it will help with my breathing troubles. Apparently wheat is the second most likely allergen after dairy. There was one stall selling lots of fresh, nice looking vegetables though. I had to ask how much stuff was, as although it was labeled I’m not seasoned enough to know what a pound of carrots looks like. They were very friendly and helpful though so I bought a variety of stuff from them. I wanted to ask questions about how they grow stuff and how organic it is but it just didn’t seem appropriate for some reason. Isn’t that silly? A big bag full cost £7 which I guess is pretty good for what it is, but I’m used to spending about £4 and my total weekly shop rarely exceeds a tenner. I still have to buy a few things from the market like mushrooms and ginger but I am happy that I have nice locally-grown chemical-free veggies to eat for dinner.
I’m starting to think the only way to get cheap, local, organic, healthy food is to grow it yourself. Another New Year resolution: learn to grow food.