Monday, 13 September 2010

Fresh and Funky


Check out this delicious spread. This lost cost me £13 I do believe. It's all from the community shop in Slathwaite. And it's fantastic. I really urge you to use the link in my first post to find the nearest one to you. The shop itself was very small, but was packed with most of the things you'd need for your store cupboard and fresh products too.

So what did I get for my money?

A large handful of local mushrooms
1 x large head of broccoli
1 x very large local lettuce
2 x large carrots
1 x bunch of spring onions
1 x vine of tomatoes
6 x local free range eggs
1 x garlic bulb
1 x fresh chilli
1 x tub of veg stock
1 x tin of organic beans
1 x tub of apple and pear spread
1 x tub of grilled red pepper hummus
1 x large loaf of fresh baked seeded bread

I consider this to be a decent haul for the money I spent but if you've bought similar things recently and think you could shop this for significantly less at the supermarket then please do let me know. Something that made my soul sad for a moment occurred when I was paying for these delicious goods. The woman working behind the counter showed me a pack full of the new government guidelines that anywhere selling fresh produce has to adhere to. She was having to re-write all the signs on the fruit and veg to include their origin (something they do already) because they are no longer allowed to write simply 'local', they must also state UK. As if local could be anywhere else. What is worse, they are now required to label their goods either Class 1, in perfect condition, or Class 2, not fresh to the day or not quite perfect. Anything not meeting either of these criteria, including items that are perfectly fresh and healthy but have grown in an odd shape, bent carrots for example, are to be thrown out. We both exclaimed together that the whole reason people want to shop in places like this is because they don't want to produce excess waste and they don't mind what shape their carrots are. She assured me they would not be following this guideline and would still sell the sub-class fresh foods until someone came and shut them down. I told her to keep fighting the fight.

I've went to a couple of other stops last week too. I popped into the open-air market in Huddersfield. They had a lot of  very cheap fruit and vegetables but I noticed that a good half of the stuff on offer was neither local nor UK in origin. I suspect that this is not unique to this particular market so do keep an eye out when buying from stalls. However, I did managed to pick up two huuuuuuge potatoes, two large onions and two local courgettes for £1.09 which I felt was pretty reasonable. I also had a look in the health food shop. The shampoos and conditioners there were more expensive than I usually go for, though not as expensive as some of the leading brands. There was an amazing choice though, every kind of toiletry and cosmetics item was on sale in some eco-friendly form. I bought some washing up liquid, a big bag of cous cous, a tin of organic beans and some toothpaste. It came to around £6.

That's the toothpaste. It's on sale for around £2.60 Average price for a big tube of toothpaste. It's flouride free. All the ingredients are listed on the back, along with where they come from and what they do. It's slightly less viscous than you might be used to, and the mint flavour is less intense, but after the first use I have become completely used to it and now think no more on the differences. I am visiting the dentist in two weeks so we'll see what he thinks!

Here's the washing up liquid:

It's a small bottle of around 120ml but the stuff is very concentrated so you only need a tiny amount. It smells of pears, delicious. It bubbles up as much as it should do and is effective when soaking. I'll be using it again.

Last but not least it's my beans:

Beans, beans, the magical fruit... Yummy! The one on the left was 99p, on the right was £1.19. That's too much for a can of beans really but thought I would give it a go. Both are manufatured entirely in the UK. Both tins have a much more aromatic flavour than Heinz etc. and both I and my lady Sal, who also tried them, thought that this was a nice addition. She also noted that she got that feeling where she wanted to go on eating them even after she had finished, the same sensation she gets from Heinz. They are both slightly less orange in colour than the big brands and both the sauces are slightly less thick. Overall, the more expensive ones were a little nicer, a little richer, but the Biona beans would certainly do. Due to the price I'd opt for the cheaper version but I am going to research the leading beans companies and see if any could count as an ethical company because I know that in order for something like this to be successful it must also be affordable.

Going to write in the next couple of days about my day on Friday which I spent driving around with Sal to different farm shops. Will tell you a little of my findings about buying meat, something I haven't tackled so far. Let me know about anything interesting that you've been up to!

Much love little acorns,


  1. Ash! Canned food - so much waste! Why don't you make your own baked beans? I have a recipe if you want it... ;-)

  2. Completely recyclable though! Not everything can be fresh.

    Yes would love the recipe of course! Send it over.