My organic week with Waitrose

Even before I openly admitted my food obsession I found supermarkets and other people’s food shops superbly interesting. I don’t tend to buy weekly women’s magazines but if I do I skip straight to the page where you get to look in someone else’s fridge and whenever I visit a new country I spend an unhealthy amount of time pacing around supermarkets, foraging in food sections of department stores and walking round local markets snooping on what other people are buying.

While this post doesn’t quite equate to a sneaky peek inside my fridge it does give a bit of insight into what happens when I’m allowed to run riot in a supermarket  – if you can count wandering round the superbly accomodating wide aisles of Waitrose under that particularly heading. Waitrose got in touch recently to ask if I fancied upgrading my usual weekly shop to an organic one in celebration of September being Organic September and if I’d share the results of the experiment with them. Here’s what I picked up:

  • 1 bar of Green & Blacks chocolate
  • 2 x 400g Duchy originals lean beef mince
  • 2 x Duchy originals salmon fillets
  • 1 bag of organic green lentils
  • 1 bag of organic red lentils
  • 2 x multipacks of organic peppers
  • 1 x organic beer
  • 4 x organic chopped tomatoes
  • 2 x Rachel’s organic greek yoghurt
  • organic tomato puree
  • 1 x bag of organic carrots
  • 1 x bag of organic onions
  • one dozen organic eggs
  • 2 x Duchy originals chipolata sausages
  • 1 x organic milk
  • 1 x block of organic mature cheese
  • 2 x packets of organic vine tomatoes

I’ll be honest and say I’ve not yet managed to munch my way through this massive mound of food and unfortunately the photographs of the meals I transformed it into are not among my best. Here’s what I’ve eaten so far:

I think I eat pretty healthily generally – my diet is largely made up of fruit, veg and fish and meat a few nights a week because I don’t like to buy cheap meat and I’m lucky enough to get a good whack of veggies from Pa Berg’s allotment. I also only buy free range eggs because I can’t bear to think of unhappy chickens. I’m no saint but I do love good rustic comfort food (which usually comes rustically prepared because I’m a lazy chopper). I wasn’t therefore expecting to notice too much of a difference in the taste of the organic food, despite recent research showing it has more antioxidants. Observations so far are that the mince and bread were among the best I’ve bought from a supermarket  – I was genuinely surprised at how good the mince tasted. It went far too – making a huge cottage pie bulked out with a potato and butter bean mash, alongside several delicious portions of bolognese.

So, will I be making the move to organic? I don’t think my budget would allow me to full time and I think Pa Berg would be personally affronted if I started sourcing my veg elsewhere full time but I’ll definitely be considering upgrading my meat from now on, even if it means padding things out with a few pulses.

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