People are becoming more conscious about what food they eat and serve to their family than ever before. One reason for this is the increasing use of pesticides and other chemicals in the farming and harvest processes for produce. For example, pesticides are commonly used in many mass farms to protect crops from insects. The downside to pesticides is that they are essentially poisons which can have an effect not only on the produce, but on the people who consume that produce. In addition to posting a potential threat if not properly handled, produce sprayed with pesticide may lose much of its natural flavor and moisture. This may even cause factories that process the produce to use even more chemicals to “enhance” the flavor artificially. Another reason for purchasing fresh or organic foods is to support local farmers and suppliers, who may produce less food than a factory farm, but put more personal care and work into their food.
Organic food is food which has been made without using manmade “enhancements” or products. Fruits and vegetables that are labeled organic are grown and harvested without pesticides, chemical fertilizers, or other synthetic enhancements. Meats, such as fish, beef and chicken that are labeled organic are from animals raised without hormone or other drug treatments. Some organic meats are also raised in a typical farm environment rather than on a factory farm, however this largely depends on the individual company or farm, and not all “organic meat” is raised in a free environment.
“You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients” – Julia Child
One benefit of organic food is the taste. Organic fruits and vegetables retain their natural grown taste, instead of relying on chemical flavoring or enhancements like non-organic produce. Organic meat is also free from the flavorings that various drugs and hormones can lend to a meat.
Fresh food, which may or may not be entirely organic, also has the benefit of taste over frozen or over-processed food, including various meats and produce. Fresh food can often be bought at local stores and from local farms.
While many people think only of fruits, vegetables and meats when they hear “organic” or “fresh,” they might be surprised to hear that you can also purchase organic or fresh foods such as: Pasta noodles and shells, caviar, and even prepared foods! There are organic cakes, organic cookies, organic sandwiches, and an endless number of organic prepared meals. Prepared organic foods are made with organic ingredients—unless someone managed to find a cake tree!
Let’s look at the more popular places where a range of fresh and organic food may be purchased. Some of these shops are online distributors, while others are walk in stores, buildings and restaurants where fresh and organic food may be purchased directly in the store.
- The Big Barn: The Virtual UK Farmer’s Market
The Big Barn is a UK based online community interest company, which hopes to reconnect consumers with local food producers and promote local farmers and produces over the ever growing big business, mass produced food. The Big Barn acts like a community center and allows a variety of UK based organic, local and fresh shops to advertise their products online. You can search for local shops using the Big Barn website, or look through their Online Marketplace to find just what you are looking for. The Big Barn website also offers coupons to a wide range of local fresh or organic shops and farms, as well as articles full of tips, tricks and information about buying locally and supporting local farmers. By offering access and information about buying locally, The Big Barn hopes that consumers will recognize the benefits of supporting local businesses over big business that is driving local UK farmers and food producers to bankruptcy.
Best of British is an organic delicatessen. The delicatessen was purchased in October of 2010 by a husband and wife, Graham and Sandra Binns, who prepare foods and produce that are mainly sourced from local companies and local suppliers. They sell a variety of organic and fresh produce, as well as organic prepared meals, such as sandwiches, cakes, and even drinks. This delicatessen is one of the most popular organic delicatessens, known for delicious and fresh food and excellent devotion to customer service.
The Best of British delicatessen offers a choice of free range and organic sandwiches. Most of the ingredients in the sandwich, from the bread, condiments, vegetables and meat are organic and purchased from local businesses and farms. Some of their more popular organic sandwiches include: Egg Mayonnaise sandwich: This sandwich uses organic lettuce and organic free range eggs; Bacon Lettuce and Tomato: This take on a classic sandwich uses free range bacon, organic lettuce and tomato, and mayonnaise; Roast Chicken Salad: An organic chicken salad that uses free range chicken breast, organic cucumber, tomato and lettuce, and mayonnaise.
The Best of British also offers organic drinks! Some of their more popular organic drinks include: Organic Apple Juice (Orchard Pig); Organic Raspberry & Blackcurrant (Orchard Pig); Organic Mango and Orange Fruit Smoothie (Fruit Hit)
Best of British even offers organic desserts – these desserts made using the very best and freshest of organic ingredients. Some of their more popular organic desserts include: Organic Carrot Cake: A carrot cake made with organic ingredients and fresh cream cheese topping; Organic Very Chocolatey Chocolate Brownie: A rich chocolate brownie made with real organic chocolate.
In addition to a wide range of organic foods, Best of British offers catering and delivery services for a number of different events.
Fish in a Box is one of the most notable UK delivery services for fresh fish and other seafood. Fish in a Box uses their connections with a UK-wide network of suppliers to deliver the highest quality in delicious fresh fish. The company is noted for preparing the fish to customer specifications and only charging customers for the final weight of the fish after any waste (fins, bones, etc) are dealt with. If you are looking for fresh fish, Fish in a Box is the online delivery service to check out!