I’m trying to eat more organic, and source local produce as much as possible. Cost, next to availability and convenience, is probably the most prohibitive factor that keeps people from choosing to buy organic, and is the reason I haven’t been. After hours of furious Googling, it became clear the most efficient way to obtain organic produce in Singapore is via online ordering and delivery. Fortunately, there were a few places that specialize in organic produce, including local farms (reducing distance bonus!). I like to think I’ll eventually try all of them and see which I like best. In the mean time, I’ll share my experiences here.
Buying locally will mean reducing the food miles travelled, and therefore carbon footprint, before reaching my plate. Cities are big on consumption (and waste), and even moreso in a resource-limited place like Singapore. Imported goods are inevitable to feed the growing population (that is being encouraged to propagate the species and up population numbers). This posed a greater dilemma than I expected in how to proceed. So for now, the less food miles, the better, which means eating more seasonally. Pai tsai, cai xin, wild bayam and sweet potatoes are not part of my regular grocery list and encouraged me to be more creative in preparing meals.
The other day I volunteered at Comcrop, Singapore’s first sustainable rooftop farm. They use aquaponics and grow organically. Well, the thing about not using pesticides is someone’s got to remove the bugs off the leaves, and this is painstaking work! No wonder organic is always more expensive. There’s an organic food store here that charges exorbitantly high prices on their produce that it’s not even funny. It’s ridiculous that the evolution of the food industry has led to high costs associated with eating healthy. It’s no wonder that diet-related health problems are a growing problem, and will continue to do so unless we do something about it.
But fortunately eating well doesn’t have to break the bank too much. I found some farms that charges reasonable rates and I only paid slightly more than usual for produce. It’s also nice to know my hard-earned dollars will be supporting someone, versus a faceless multinational corporation. I’m voting with my dollars, and you should consider it too! On that note, the Environmental Working Group‘s guide to organic will help you prioritize which food items to buy organic.
Have you purchased organic products online? What are your thoughts?