If you are anything like me, your Instagram feed will be a mouthwatering collection of beautiful and exciting food ideas created by endlessly inventive people who seem to spend their entire lives surrounded by stunning ingredients. It’s pretty idyllic stuff and a constant source of inspiration for my own recipe writing.
Lately, I’ve noticed that many of these creators are talking about their use of organic which made me wonder, what’s driving this? So, I spoke to three of Instagram’s best known organic shoppers, each with very different approaches to food – slow-living mum Emma Ross (@mamalinauk), fitness fanatic Freddie Coplestone (@fitnessfreddie) and plant-based food blogger Niki Webster (@rebelrecipes) - and asked them, what made you start buying organic food?
“Being a huge foodie I've always been interested in where my food comes from and eating as many natural unprocessed foods as possible,” says Rebel Recipes, Niki Webster. “So I started buying organic as soon as it became more available.”
Freddie was similarly influenced by his work interests. He started buying organic food in 2010 when he launched his personal training business. “I couldn’t advise my clients without leading by example!” he says.
Emma Ross, on the other hand, is relatively new to organic food. “I started buying organic probably about 18 months ago mainly for the health benefits for me and the family but also for the overall positive impact it has on the earth.”
And I wonder if Emma is symptomatic of a wider change. As the trend for healthy food and slower, simpler lifestyles grows (certainly on Instagram, anyway) then more people will become aware of how their food’s provenance affects these things and so will naturally gravitate to organic.
We move on to discuss the best places to buy organic food. I grow a lot of my own produce, but I’m a huge fan of veg boxes for topping up. Niki agrees. “If my husband Andy has been super organised with growing veg then in the summer we have lots of lovely home grown delights. Failing that we get a veg box or organic ranges in the supermarkets.”
And the general consensus is that while organic food used to be solely the preserve of farmers’ markets, some so tucked away they felt like a well-kept local secret, today everyone feels supermarkets have upped their game. Freddie buys most of his organic produce from supermarkets these days. Emma explains she too buys from “mainly supermarkets but also from farmers’ markets and farm shops” and adds, “I wish there were organic pick your own farms.” Watch this space for a Mamalina organic market garden!