Although I love being supermarketfree, some things didn’t feel quite right, and ever since I started buying my fruit and veggies at the market I felt uncomfortable about it. Sure, unless I bought the €1.00 bags, the quality of the produce was usually fine, but it was not organic.

Now, even during my supermarket days I didn’t buy all my fruit and veggies organic, but certainly most of them. It just never occurred to me how much organic produce I bought compared to conventional produce. Until I started buying my fruit and veggies at the market where I would be lucky if I could find just organic apples or pears. Why were there no organic bananas? No organic grapes? Why no organic veggies – apart from that one time when I was lucky enough to find organic cucumbers?

It felt wrong. All wrong. I went out of my way to buy organic eggs and dairy, so why should I settle for conventional fruit and veggies, when I knew organic is better?

Then I read an article in the New York Times, about Ria Chhabra’s research on the health benefits of organically grown food, and I knew I had to act.

So I decided to do what I’d been wanting to do all along and buy organic fruit and veggies only. Not instead of the other organic products I already bought, but in addition to them. So we still buy organic eggs and dairy. We still buy organic mayonnaise, because, let’s face it, mayonnaise contains eggs, and why would I want any chickens to suffer for my mayonnaise?

What this means, is that I’ll probably not go to that nice, big market anymore, but to the small market close to home because now I’ll most often only need to buy cheese at the market. Instead, I’ll be buying my fruit and veggies at the health food shop, and I will definitely consider taking a produce bag once or twice a week, as that might just work out less expensive.

Oh, and the budget remains unchanged, although I am taking cat food and litter out of the equation, as we decided to buy that in bulk once a month. Cleaning supplies and personal hygiene products are still included in the budget.

This week, I went to the baker’s on my way back home from the hospital with DD-14 who had to see the ENT doctor again, and to the health food shop on Wednesday afternoon.

Healthy, organic fruit and veggies were bought, as well as milk, eggs, pasta, soy beans, two discounted bars of chocolate, almonds, raisins, banana chips, vegetarian bread spread, umeboshi paste, and fruit concentrate. I also bought two small bottles of essential lavender oil, as they were on offer, and we use it a lot.

Back home I used up my last butter when I made chocolate flapjacks, and discovered we were out of mayonnaise and tomato ketchup and almost out of honey, so today I went to the health food shop again and bought these items, as well as tomato paste, which is always good to have on hand, croissants for our Shabbat breakfast, and sliced vegetarian “meat” for DD-14. A small container of cherry tomatoes also found its way into my basket, and as we passed by the nut shop, DD-14 looked at me and I could see the question in her eyes: “Please Mum, buy us something nice?”, and so I did.

Although I feared I might overspend this week, I actually only spent €74.65 on groceries, so even though I bought almost exclusively organic food, I still remained well within my budget and another €25.35 will be added to my “England Here We Come” fund.


About Liam

Poet, writer, aspiring minimalist
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