Sunday, December 15, 2013

Organic Comparison

It’s Joe here for a special guest post!
Meghan and I have been eating Vegan or as I like to say, a whole food plant-based diet, for almost exactly a year. We’ve done lots of research into food and health over the year and have most recently been interested in organic foods. Some of the benefits of organic foods are that they are free of GMOs, pesticides, chemicals, and are farmed in a natural and sustainable way. They also tend to be more nutritious, even though they may be somewhat smaller than conventionally farmed produce.
All of the dried beans and grains that we get from our local health food store are organic but Meg and I were looking for a source for fruits and vegetables. Most grocery stores do carry organic produce but the selections tend to be limited, pricy, and often imported. Meg’s friend, Kate told us about Grand River Organics (GRO), a company that does organic produce deliveries from various local farms. GRO offers a wide variety of items delivered in two different sizes, a bag of 8-10 items for $26 or a box of 12-14 items for $38. There are options for all local produce or a combination of local and imported goods. You can just place an order and get the random, expected items for the week or customize your order and choose specific fruit and veg. We decided on a custom order, as we needed a heaping amount of kale for our morning smoothies! We paid $41 and this is what we got:

We were impressed with the freshness of the produce but a little disappointed that some of it did come in plastic wrap and containers, which we really try hard to avoid. We knew that this one box wouldn’t be enough for us for the week, but in general, we did find the amount of certain items to be small. On the plus side, our pick-up location was less than two blocks away from our house!
We did enjoy our delivery but thought that we should also try and see what was available at the Kitchener Market. We had never really sought out organics but just visited our regular local farmers. As we discovered, there were quite a few organic options from a number of stands. Most of the produce was local, but there were also some non-local options. We decided to see what we could get using the same $40 budget and here was our haul:

It was clear that we did get a little more bang for our buck at the market. It wasn’t quite as close as our GRO delivery but we do enjoy our trek to market every Saturday anyway. I do appreciate what GRO does, especially for those who may not be so close to a farmer’s market. We would order again from GRO, most likely if we’re away for a weekend and know that we won’t be heading to market. That’s another good feature of this service, there is no weekly commitment, you can order as you please. As it stands for now, we will use GRO occasionally and continue to search for organics at the market!

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