Food sourcing

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lucky
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Food sourcing

Postby lucky » Tue Jan 16, 2007 3:10 pm

This is a post from *Bill*, I've moved it from another thread.

bill wrote:so, the forest says that it does its best to source food locally and organically? does it? personally this is really important to me and is a reason that many people are willing to work and support the cafe.

the cafe spents alot of money on food! this is a great power to influence things non? i think it is well possible to improve either local sourcing or organic sourcing or both at the same time. i know that this is difficult with keeping the cost of food down; is it possible to sell cheap not organic things and thigs which are completely organic e.g. a fully organic potato, fully organic soup, fully organic curry. this would mean that people buying food in the cafe actually know what they are buying.....any thoughts?
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Postby lucky » Tue Jan 16, 2007 3:28 pm

I'm having a look to see if there's an appropriate Organic supplier for the fruit and veg.

As far as I'm aware we used to get stuff from a certain company, and the product wasn't that great. Things like the lettuce didn't last at all. I think this was an issue with the quality of the stuff we were given rather than simply because it was organic.

I too am very aware of the power of your money. It's a whole complex issue, and I've changed my diet recently because I can't handle the distance between where meat and dairy comes from, the processes it goes through etc etc. Still, I'm not too aware if where my veg comes from, and am supporting the tobacco industry, so little steps but I'll get there :D

I feel very passionately about this myself - as well as the pure ethics of it, the further away you are from your food source, the less well your body processes it. There are philosophies in complimentary medicine that you should only eat what naturally grows in your area. Crap like 'TV dinners' are blatantly unhealthy.

So, my point is, you can't disconnect what happens in your body from what's happening in the world around you. It's true. I read it in a book.

Our little choices we make with our money is definately voting, creating trends in the market, lovely or horrendous ripples in the supply and demand pond.

I hope people know that the Forest tries it's best to get better and better all the time. Because of the nature of the place and the people who work here it's given (I feel) that we'll be aiming to make the blatantly right choices as best we can. I hope no-one feels mislead and thinks that everything we do is organic - I don't think that claim's been directly made. But, it's definately something discussed.

If anyone knows of a reliable organic, local supplier, let me know so I can check it out. Post it here or feel free to send me a message.

Hope I've kept on point. Probably not - I'm in ranty mode.

Big love, Alex.
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lucky
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Postby lucky » Tue Jan 16, 2007 3:37 pm

Also, we're more aware of ordering seasonal stuff.

Why won't my computer let me edit my posts!!! Damn machines.

Alex*
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ravanwin
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Postby ravanwin » Tue Jan 16, 2007 7:24 pm

a lot of the seasonal stuff ought to be comming from britain. if nothing else, and i know this is a small small thing, we are supporting our local veg peoples instead of using a bigger more national company to supply us with fruit and veg. so, at least our money is going to local trades people regardless of where the veg actually comes from. I know this isn't an awesome point, but i thought i'd mention it as options are availible to buy things from larger / non-local suppliers.
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Postby Shannon » Tue Jan 16, 2007 8:32 pm

I talked to the veg guy today, and getting anything organic from them is a no-go. It's true: they are a local, small business. Unfortunately, it's hard for them to guarantee where stuff is going to be coming since they go to a wholesale market, and never know what exactly will be there.

In the environment meeting we talked about making a list of everything we sell in the kitchen and where it comes from so we can see what is a priority, and start looking into it all. Perhaps there is a small, local farm where we could be getting our cheese? Maybe not. Perhaps we can try for all potatoes, carrots and onions organic/local?

Some things we have done recently: No more bananas. They are from far away, a nasty company and not FT/organic. Switched from tomatoes to carrots in green salad for winter. Switched roast veg to be heavy on the parsnip/carrots/onions/mushrooms, instead of more far away things like peppers/aubergine/courgette. Stopped buying pine nuts (only available from China and really not necessary). Switched from non-organic winter lemons to organic lemon juice (who knows if this is actually better!!) Switched to organic feta.

There is a book available from Word Power by a group that does CSA box schemes in Scotland. It has a bunch of stuff at the front about what is in season when. The rest is recipes It's £10. I think this would be a worthwhile kitchen purchase. Yay? Nay?
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chris
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Postby chris » Tue Jan 16, 2007 10:46 pm

cool, when you are doing these swithes, is there much of a price difference on the things you've mentioned?
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Postby Shannon » Tue Jan 16, 2007 10:50 pm

Feta is more expensive, but not by much. Pine nuts were expensive to buy and now they aren't. The in-season veg is cheaper than the fancy shit. I think the lemon juice is around the same. Etc.
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Postby chris » Tue Jan 16, 2007 10:53 pm

awesome. i assumed as much, i just wanted it to be explicit.
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bill
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ha!

Postby bill » Wed Jan 17, 2007 10:41 am

ah so i went to see them folks in suzies diner who tell me that most of there food isn't organic! but that they reccomend some other folk called damhead (http://www.damhead.co.uk/ Office phone: 0131 445 7425
Fax: 0131 445 7750) who are situated near the pentlands. maybees we should a eek a speeka to them non?

tres bon
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graeme
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Edinburgh Cyrenians Farm

Postby graeme » Fri Jan 19, 2007 1:00 am

This is an organic farm I have visited a couple of times through a community investment programme in my 'proper' job.
http://www.cyrenians.org.uk/Edinburghcy ... sfarm.html
They have volunteers working on the farm so there may be scope for some forest folk to get a taste of organic farming.
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graeme
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Cyrenians Farm (continued because I can't edit my posts!)

Postby graeme » Fri Jan 19, 2007 1:13 am

The Farm are thinking of starting a Community Share Scheme which will include both individuals and local businesses.
http://www.cyrenians.org.uk/wmslib/pdf/ ... ders_o.pdf
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