Why choose to buy an organic fruit and vegetables basket?
Here are some good reasons:
- Your health: unless you grow fruit and vegetables yourself, you can’t get them fresher than this, so you’re guaranteed that all their vitamins and minerals are intact. Buying organic for your family ensures that you remove, as much as possible, toxic or cancer-causing residues from your food.
- Your environment: buying locally reduces your veggies’ total amount of food miles (the distance from the place where they grow to your home) - and you minimize the amount of packaging and energy used.
- Taste: nothing tastes as good as these fresh and flavoursome fruits of the earth!
- The well-being of traditional small-scale farmers versus big food industry: both local farmers and fair trade farmers abroad are supported.
- Biodiversity: some of the species in your basket have become almost forgotten and unavailable in our supermarkets - you can make a difference and support biodiversity by buying them again. They often taste surprisingly delicious and are very nutritious, and nowadays recipes for these rediscoveries can be found online or in good cookery books. Growing organic fruit and vegetables – i.e. free of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides or GMOs - keeps soil and water from becoming polluted.
We invite you to have a look at suppliers’ addresses on the food section of our website. Some even deliver eggs, milk, bread and many other items (even baby foods and toiletries) to top up your basket. You can download your favourite season’s calendar from our website and translations of fruit and vegetables names are available as well. We also recommend Reason2.be for more good reasons to eat organic in Belgium!
Where do I get it?
- reason2.be provides organic, seasonal produce from Belgian farms. Their website is in English and they offer free delivery. They also offer other organic products including baby food and toiletries and have additional services such as a recycle and exchange club for books and toys and will even take away your glass recycling when they deliver your food basket.
- At Cookitude, you can order a package of organic food items for 2 persons to cook a meal. Read more about it at Ideaplants.
- Natural Selection sells organic clothes, but is also a pick-up point for the organic fruit and vegetable baskets, Chaussee de Waterloo 616, 1050 Brussels, Tel: 02/345.10.88, open 10h00-18h00.
- GASAP (Groupe d'Achat Solidaire de l'Agriculture Paysanne) is a French-speaking retailers' cooperative of sorts. You can either join an existing group or you can help starting a new one in a new area.
- Les Amis de la Terre is another network of collective buying groups and is organised by the French version of Friends of the Earth.
- There are urban organic collective gardens organized by an association called Le début des haricots (start of the beans). The way it works is you give a credit to the farmer on an account and they can then better plan the harvest needed.
- Click here for a list of more organic shops and markets.
When buying vegetables from the supermarket or other shops, it can be difficult to know which vegetables and fruit are in season. Season calendars give you an overview of the local seasons of the vegetables and fruit available here in Belgium. They are either in Dutch or French, or both, but you will also need the names in Dutch or French when you do your shopping. You can download one of these season calendars and hang it in your kitchen:
- Brussels Environment Institute (apparently also available as a small hard copy, just contact them via their website)
- Velt (alternative link)
- Observatoire Bruxellois de la Consommation Durable
This articles was published in the September 2009 edition of the Sunbeams Newsletter.