As autumn draws in and we start to feel a chill in the air, lots of people across the country decide to opt in for a weekly veg box delivery. It’s the time of year when veg box sales peak so I thought I’d give you a little insight into why.
Veg boxes are not exactly a new thing – farms have been offering them since the seventies, and certainly the more established ones like Growing Communities, Riverford and Able & Cole have been delivering weekly boxes to British food enthusiasts for the last twenty years.
What’s different now is that there are so many more to choose from, and lots of small, community-based schemes, like the BFT’s have popped up all over the country.
Here at Better Food Traders we’re big advocates for the veg box model – and here’s why:
1. You’ll become a bit of a connoisseur
It’s a great way to get really in tune with seasonal eating –you get the very best selection of what the farmers have to offer. It’s not all hairy root vegetables like some people fear – you actually get introduced to a whole range of produce you probably wouldn’t think to buy for yourself and you develop a taste for more unusual vegetables that other people have probably never heard of. It makes your cooking more varied and interesting.
2. You’ll feel more healthy
Eating with the seasons means you get a variety of nutrients. This supports good health and gets you into good veg-eating habits. What’s more, many of these schemes will get your produce to you within a day or two of it being picked, so it’s still fresh and nutrient-rich by the time you get it. The majority of veg box schemes are organic, which means you won’t be served a side of pesticides with your dinner, which can have cause cancer and adversely effect reproduction, immune or nervous systems. And you’ll eat more greens! Veg boxes like the Better Food Traders will always include at least one portion of leafy greens each week – things like kale, spinach, chard and cabbage are really good for you and are the sort of thing that get left out of a conventional British diet.
3. You don’t have to think about what to buy
If you care about what you eat and want to make the most eco, ethical choice possible, it can be time consuming checking the labels on products to try to figure out where it’s from, if it’s organic and if it’s fair trade. Veg box business do this work for you so you don’t have to think about it.
4. You’re supporting good farmers
In the UK, as well as a lot of Europe, farmers are having a tough time of it competing in the global supply chain. This has led to many farms closing down in the last 10 years. On average British farmers earn 10,000 per year. No wonder the next generation aren’t choosing to take over the family farm! Box schemes are a lifeline to many farms that cannot survive on the supermarket dominated commodity market. Box schemes like the BFTs pay a fair price and help them to stay in business and in some cases, expand.
5. Autumn is a great time for British veg
At a time of year when you want to hunker down and make hearty soups and stews or colourful salads the harvest season is churning out superb produce. A whole variety of squash, peppers, aubergines, chillies, sweetcorn and multi-coloured carrots await you.