The Organic Debate

I’m damn sure that organic food features on Stuff White People Like. Organic is a buzzword, it’s trendy, it’s the Right Thing to Do.  It’s a marketer’s paradise – people are prepared to pay a hefty premium to be Trendy and to know that they are Doing the Right Thing. I’ve always taken this cynical stance and assumed that only hipster kids and soccer moms buy organic because they’re dumb enough to buy into the marketing behind it.

My biggest loathing towards organic food is when some place like Woolies has little shiny packets of 8 dried peaches, organically grown in Southern Peru, wrapped in large quantities of non-recyclable packaging (nice and green in colour though, perhaps with a picture of a tree) that was shipped around the world to satisfy my urge to be organic.

I also am wary of the economics behind organic food. Growing food organically is obviously not as efficient as large scale non-organic farms, and sometimes I think I’d rather have chemicals in my food that someone destroy another bit of natural forest.

Besides, I eat a LOT of vegetables so whatever veggies they are, they need to be convenient, affordable and in regular supply.

Despite all these problems, I really do want freshly grown, delicious vegetables, free from harmful toxins and chemicals. I normally eat a huge amount of veggies and recently have been wanting to eat even more – especially greens as they are good alkalisers.  I’ve recently been learning more and more about why it’s so important to be eating plenty of greens. However, greens are the worst affected by pesticides and so if I increase the greens I eat, I’d like them to be ones I’ve grown or organic. So when I discovered Harvest of Hope I was converted.

Harvest of Hope provides boxes of freshly grown, organic vegetables to a host of convenient Cape Town pick-up spots.

Here are my reasons why since I discovered Harvest of Hope I now am just another white person who buys organic food.

  1. Harvest of Hope grows their veggies out on the Cape Flats, in an urban area. The veggies are grown by women from local townships like Nyanga and Gugulethu, for whom the project provides employment and a secure income. The women also feed their families with the veggies they grow.
  2. Since the veggies are grown in an urban setting, the veggies are travelling the shortest possible distance to me, the consumer (well except if I’m eating what I grow myself). Minimising transportation seriously cuts down on the carbon footprint of my food
  3. The veggies are not packaged. They come in boxes that are reused each week.
  4. It’s convenient! I can pick up my veggies at UCT! Here’s a full list of everywhere else they drop off.
  5. It’s affordable. R72 for a small box of 6-7 veggies for 2 people and R105 for a medium box of 9-12 veggies.
  6. They taste so good!
  7. It forces me to experiment with new veggies that I wouldn’t normally buy, which makes for more interesting cooking.

PS.  After some research, it has been discovered that it is true – #6 Organic Food, #5 Farmers’ Markets.

One response to this post.

  1. […] Green leafy vegetables. Rocket, spinach, purslane, lettuce. Unfortunately leafy plants are the ones that farmers spray the most pesticides onto, so increasing your intake of greens will also increase the amount of pesticides you’re eating. Have a look at Harvest of Hope to consider getting organic greens instead and read my organic debate. […]


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