I’ve never really been on-board with the whole Organic thing. My understanding was that herbicides, pesticides & fungicides are quite useful for ensuring food reached the retailer without having been eaten or otherwise consumed by another life form, preservatives are handy for stopping food from rotting before it’s eaten, and other additives are good at ensuring the texture and appearance and flavour of food remains as intended. I’ve heard people saying that these additions are terribly bad for you, but I always thought that between them the liver and kidneys of a healthy person are pretty good at filtering out the stuff the human body can’t or isn’t meant to absorb. So I had a little moment of smug satisfaction when a report was published at the start of September claiming there wasn’t actually much evidence that organic food was better for you than non organic.
However I feel a bit hypocritical saying that, since Terry and I recently took another step down the path of becoming an utter parody of the liberal middle-class. We started getting an organic vegetable box delivered.
We were at a local summer fete, which amongst its stalls had a local-ish company who did vegetable boxes. Terry was wildly excited by this, and happily signed up on a 3 for the price of 2 basis to try it out. I was a bit more skeptical, but I had to admit the convenience of having fresh fruit and veg delivered on a weekly basis was quite appealing.
As there are just 2 of us we’d got into the habit of doing an online shop every 3 weeks or so, and the vegetables we bought tended to be chosen on the basis of whether they were on special offer or appeared in our frequently bought list. Even though Terry is a vegetarian, and I am a fairly adventurous cook, we were in a bit of a vegetable rut. It was quite nice to suddenly have different things to cook with.
But after getting a Romanesco Cauliflower for the 3rd time I’ve started remembering how much I disliked Mark Twain’s ‘Cabbage with a college education’ as a kid. I hate wasting food, so I try to find something different to do with it to make it more palatable. But my heart isn’t really in it. For the first time since I was living with my parents I feel I’m being coerced into eating my greens, except that I’m now paying £21.45 a month for the privilege. Since I went to boarding school age 11 I’ve had some measure of autonomy over what I eat almost constantly. I’ve not had a meal I didn’t choose myself, even if from a reasonably limited selection, in nearly 20 years. (Excepting of course going to someone else’s home where my upbringing kicks in and eat what’s put in front of me out of politeness – unless I think it might actually kill me.)
There’s something very grown-up about having a box of Organic Fruit and Vegetables delivered every week. So it feel quite odd that this more than anything else I’ve experienced before makes me feel like an 8 year old again.