veg box schemes

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veg box schemes

Post  froogs on Wed Sep 21, 2011 1:49 am

I'm seriously debating starting up a veg box scheme - organic produce etc.

I'm torn between the price - Aldi fruit and veg is so so so cheap and the thought of it being covered in pesticides/fertilisers.

Our diets are changing in the respect that I will do a meat with a sauce and accompany it with whatever veg we have and my own roast/boiled/mashed potatoes. So I don't meal plan in such a way in that I need a specific veg for a specific meal.

Does organic produce 'go off' quicker than cheap veg?

I'm logging onto to Tesco to look at the fruit and veg I normally buy in a week, look at the cost and look at old Aldi receipts.

Money is quite tight but the more I am learning about nutrition and wholesome goodness the more I want to eat for health.... is the whole organic idea a highly inflated idea to earn more money out of the consumer? Are box scheme a complete rip off?

Your thoughts on this would be great. I'm really unsure what to do.


Last edited by froogs on Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:01 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: veg box schemes

Post  alec eiffel on Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:20 am

We used to get one and we liked it a lot. If you go for the normal box rather than picking and choosing item by item it's cheaper as you'll get what's plentiful at the minute. I think when you know you've spent a bit more on something you make the most of it and it's great for getting out of the routine of eating the same stuff all the time. If there is an abundance of something one week it's easy to stick it in the freezer if you have one so nothing need go to waste. I didn't notice that things went off more quickly, but I always start with stuff that's going to go off quickly then move on to root veg etc towards the end of the week. I don't think Tesco or Sainsburys veg lasts very well anyway so a veg box was an improvement on that!

One of the reasons we shop at the supermarket we do is that they sell lots of locally produced and organic stuff. There's conflicting evidence about whether organic food is healthier [see who funded whichever studies you read] but if you buy local (organic) stuff it's more likely to be fresher and so forth - nutrients diminish over time. I think some people jumped on the "organic" bandwagon when being "green" was fashionable (e.g do I really think McDonalds are ethical because they use organic milk?)

sorry, too many brackets but I was trying to be concise.

I'd probably say give it a go, if you don't like it cancel. If you have a look at eat the seasons or something, or even the box scheme website you'll get a good idea of what you're likely to get and go from there.

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Re: veg box schemes

Post  froogs on Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:03 am

Thanks alec eiffel.

I loved going to Booths when my in-laws lived in Skipton. Unfortunately there is no such place here in the North East. We're surrounded by the BigWigs and Cheapy stores but nothing that is local that I can support or feel good about buying from.

If I was to shop at my local Co-op (I don't mind the Co-op actually but very expensive) then I would have spent more than the box scheme so that is a good feeling. Also did a dummy run on Asda's site (Tesco's was down) and found that we're talkig similar prices too so at least I know I am not being ripped off.

I have ordered a fruit box and a veg box from Riverford, to be delivered on Saturday. It seemed like such a lot of money - £23 to be spending all in one go but I'm sure I would spend that in the supermarket without really thinking. I've also found goodness direct so will be looking into that for my rice, pasta's, pulses etc.

That just leaves meat, dairy and eggs (can get them with Riverford but cannot justify paying those prices) baking produce for packed lunches and bread making - going to give this another shot. I just cannot find a recipe that I get on well with.

Also Hugh F Whittingstall released a new book yesterday - Veg Everyday. I have reserved it at library so will be looking at it with interest to learn some new things.

I just worry that I'm wasting money of 'posh' organic box schemes when Aldi have their veg at 69p half the time.

Still... I'm trying it now - can only see how we go and yes I agree Alec Eiffel. I won't want to be wasting any of it knowing what it has cost - can only be a good thing for our health
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Re: veg box schemes

Post  alec eiffel on Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:14 am

I guess it depends on what your priorities are. We were right in the middle of getting out of debt when we started shopping at Booths (which is just the best!) and we felt really guilty the first few times we went but we spent no more than we did when we went to Asda. I think partly because it was easier to buy loose stuff, the shelves were never empty and partly because the shop was smaller so we just weren't exposed to all that other stuff that big stores have.

So what if you're spending money on an organic box when you could be spending 69p at Aldi, we could all do lots of things we don't do, if it's something you like, is important to you and fits into the budget then that's what matters. I can't remember who we used but years ago we got an organic meat box and it was really good value. Took a fair old while to divide everything up for the freezer but it was worth it. Might be worth having a poke about.

I've heard a rumour that we only live once, make it a life full of happiness as much as you can!

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Re: veg box schemes

Post  froogs on Wed Sep 21, 2011 4:14 am

I suppose I need to get it into perspective.. I'm buying vegetables for my family, not a Gucci handbag.

I've found http://www.thebutchers-block.co.uk

TP do you trade online?
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Re: veg box schemes

Post  TP on Wed Sep 21, 2011 4:15 am

no we dont trade online.

So, when asking the question does organic food last longer than conventional food, it really all boils down to how you will keep the food once you get home. All foods will spoil, some faster than others, but there is no firm data or studies that suggest that organic foods will go bad faster than any other kind of food.

I found the above for you. I have never had a box always buy from aldi or market or supermarket etc.

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Re: veg box schemes

Post  cat_smith on Wed Sep 21, 2011 5:32 am

Oh how I love Booths. My parents have a house in Ulverston. I always take the freezer box when I go down there and fill up from the local butcher (they can't quite tell you the name of the cow but they know farm and slaughter date) and veg from Booths. The quality is amazing and no where near M&S or Waitrose. Maybe a bit more expensive than the Big ones, but seriously worth it.

Re. veg boxes. My problem is we don't eat a lot of potatoes, and they are always a major part of veg boxes. Also, I meal plan, and could never get my head round doing the meal plan the day the box arrived rather than on Sunday evening. But this was while I was working 60hrs a week, so maybe I ought to give it another try Very Happy
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Re: veg box schemes

Post  lollyfin on Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:19 am

I would love to get a veg box every week i think it would force me to be more adverturous with veg but we dont have anyone who will deliver to where we live Sad
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Re: veg box schemes

Post  stiltwalker on Thu Sep 22, 2011 6:42 am

I get a £10 box every week, it's not organic but from the farmshop at the bottom of the road as all his suppliers are local. When I got the first couple of boxes I actually went through and weighed everything and plugged it into the tesco.com thing as if I were going to buy it as it had to come out cheaper (plus OH works at tescos so get an extra 10% off) and it did! Been getting a box a week for a year or so now, if it's not ready when I go down he brings it up for me but it is literally 30 yards away. I used to get an organic box when Skipton had a little organic shop but unfortunately he couldn't make it work as rents to high! For me it's more about supporting local, independent business that being organic (and it gives me a little buzz that I'm using OH's Tesco wage to support the nice chap down the road!)
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Re: veg box schemes

Post  marciared on Thu Sep 22, 2011 8:39 am

I have never had one. I think organic food and milk is expensive more than i can afford.
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Re: veg box schemes

Post  alec eiffel on Thu Sep 22, 2011 7:01 pm

Love it stiltwalker - stick it to The Man!

Ikwym about local over organic, we buy a lot of local stuff - Formby asparagus mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm but if we buy dairy products that's always organic. It's not ideal but it's the best I can do for now - can't quite make the jump to rice milk full time!

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Re: veg box schemes

Post  froogs on Tue Sep 27, 2011 10:18 pm

Just an update on my feelings on my first box scheme delivery.

I love it! I hope to goodness I can afford to keep it up because I'm hooked on taste and quality. I also feel quite happy in the feeling that I'm supporting a north yorkshire farmer wholly and paying a good price for what I have purchased. There;s something about the pitiful amount the farmers get for their efforts when I buy cheap. If I'm paying Aldi 69p for an item and Aldi are making a profi on it - how much is the farmer receiving??? Anyway. At the minute I can afford to think about this but as soon as money gets tight i'll be back to the 69p produce and my morals will go out the window.

I do care about the produce on the shelf too. When it's looking a bit sorry I get on he net and look for something to do. My two are going to have a pear/raspberry (a bit random but they won't mind) crumble this evening and some will go in DD's packed lunch tomorrow. I normally would have chucked it Embarassed

Also, who knew? Cauliflower cheese is blummin' lovely and my two little ones couldn't get enough of it yesterday. I never buy cauli and always thought it might be a bit yak but no, it's really tasty. I'm hving left over for my lunch Smile

So all in all, a big thumbs up from me (until the money runs out)
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Re: veg box schemes

Post  alec eiffel on Tue Sep 27, 2011 10:21 pm

Glad you like it.

I love love love love love cauliflower! Soup, baked, mashed, deep fried (especially that one), steamed, in curry, love it!

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Re: veg box schemes

Post  froogs on Tue Sep 27, 2011 10:24 pm

I have got my eye on a pakrika coated fried recipe. Wink I was going to do that yesterday with the curry but used it all in the cauli cheese.

32 years of my life and hardly touched it other than the soggy variety on my Sunday dinner plate when I was little. No comparison to what I did last night with it - and this me cooking, I'm not the greatest Embarassed
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Re: veg box schemes

Post  alec eiffel on Tue Sep 27, 2011 10:28 pm

I think the 70's and 80's did a lot of damage to a lot of veg.

Dan was the same, all those memories of veg boiled for hours on end and served up in a mushy mass spoiled the enjoyment of some veg for a long time! I'm glad my parents grew veg as I was used to eating stuff raw so knew it didn't have to be treated in such a shoddy way Laughing

Paprika cauliflower sounds yum. I ran out of chipotle chillies a little while ago so started putting paprika into everything and I am in love with it. First things into the basket when we go shopping next week - one cauli and one celeriac *yum*

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Re: veg box schemes

Post  froogs on Tue Sep 27, 2011 10:58 pm

Now my DH does a mean celeriac soup, tastes so creamy. It's from River Cottage Everyday Cookbook. I haven't tried to make it myself because it'll never be as good as he does it. We now have that for starter on Christmas Day. Our new family tradition.
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Re: veg box schemes

Post  froogs on Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:02 pm

Just checked out the box contents for Saturday coming:

amaruso potatoes UK
carrots UK
white onions UK
broccoli UK
courgettes UK
green oakleaf/ red batavia lettuce UK
savoy cabbage UK
cherry vine tomatoes ES

bramley apples UK
kiwi FR
bananas DO/CO
satsumas IT
pears FR

I'm a bit concerned about the cabbage as have not got a clue what to do with that and DH really doesn't like courgette. Might have to look at how to hide it in a recipe.
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Post  alec eiffel on Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:10 pm

Cake! Courgette cake, best way to use courgettes! We don't have cabbage very often but if we do we generally use it for stir fry or fried like crispy seaweed or just for bubble and squeak. Not much help really.

Celeriac is yum, celeriac soup is sooooo nice.

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Re: veg box schemes

Post  froogs on Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:35 pm

I thought you were having me on till..

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/633634/chocolate-courgette-cake

Yum! Such a healthy recipe too as cakes go. You're on! We have friends over on Saturday evening so a perfect excuse. I'm not telling DH though because he'll point blank refuse to try it.

HAve you made beetroot cake? I haven't but the little girl who came with her dad to deliver the box on Saturday told me I had to make it on a day I get some beetroot. Bless
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Re: veg box schemes

Post  alec eiffel on Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:42 pm

I haven't made a beetroot cake (not much of a baker really) but I've had a chocolate and beetroot cake. Yum! The nicest courgette cake I had was from somewhere in Kendal and it was spiced courgette with lavender, so good!

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Re: veg box schemes

Post  lollyfin on Wed Sep 28, 2011 12:53 am

HFW has a recipe in everyday, i think it is , for beetroot and chocolate brownies they are really nice.
UI have a recipe book filled with baking made with veg and everything i have made out of it is lovely. its called red velvet and choclate heartache i think.
I dont like cabbage except when its creamed and then i would eat the whole pan ful myself.
The chef at a local hotel taught me how to make it and its really easy and doesnt use many ingredients

slice the cabbage and put in a large frying pan with melted butter and season well with salt and pepper
leave it to cook for a while until softening then add cream, as much as you want, season again the amount of seasoning you put in you think will be too much but it isnt it needs quite a lot. Stir until sauce has thickened and then eat yummy
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Re: veg box schemes

Post  froogs on Wed Sep 28, 2011 1:47 am

Brill, thanks lollyfin. I could do that as a side with some chops and boiled potatoes. Smile

i'll search library for the book and reserve it. Eeee chuffed with both your suggestions

Don't ya just love it here bounce

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Re: veg box schemes

Post  stiltwalker on Wed Sep 28, 2011 6:18 am

I did a fantastic cauli sauce for pasta for lunch for me, mum and DD today, it came from "Truly Italian" by Ursula Ferrigno which is a veggie cookbook where the recipes are so good you don't even realise there are no meat recipes in there! It had a good kick of chilli in together with tomatoes and cream and would also make a lovely way to serve cauli as a veg. and none of us is particularly fond of cauli on its own.

Looking forward to seeng what's in my veg box tomorrow.
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Re: veg box schemes

Post  lollyfin on Wed Sep 28, 2011 6:30 am

Stiltwalker could you share the recipe pretty please. I am trying to build up a veggie recipe base that my kids will eat without complaining and that sounds lovely
Froogs you are going to have to let me know how you get on with the cabbage. I always worry telling people something is nice incase they dont like it cos we're all different, it should be delish with chops and pots tho
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Re: veg box schemes

Post  stiltwalker on Wed Sep 28, 2011 6:40 am

1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 small hot red chilli whole or chopped
1 small cauli cut into florets
1/2 can of chopped toms
250 ml veg stock or water
200ml double cream
handful of fesh chopped flat leaved parsley
4 sage leaves chopped
salt and pepper

Heat oil and add garlic and chilli and cook for 3 mins on low heat. Add cauli, after 5 mins addchopped toms in juice, herbs and seasoning and cook for 10 mins.
Add stock (depending on amount of cauli may need less) Leave to simmer and cook a pan of pasta (penne).
Add cream, remove chilli if whole. Squash cauli a bit with a potato masher.
Drain pasta, mix in sauce and serve.
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