Updated: Aug 5
Following yesterday's launch of our all-new 'Green' Twitter page, Adeline explores the environmental and personal benefits of taking part in a local veg box scheme.
There is a growing concern about climate change and the environment, and it can sometimes be quite disheartening to feel that nothing we do at our own individual scale will have an impact. However, research has shown that what we eat is crucial to the climate change question, so looking at what’s on our plates is a good place to start adopting a greener lifestyle.
Kentish Town Vegbox — a fabulous discovery
When I started working in Titanium Tutors’ Camden offices, I came across an ad for Kentish Town Vegbox in the local paper, and thought it was worth a try. They are “a community-led organic vegetable box scheme with a weekly selection of fresh seasonal produce, sourced as locally as possible”. The idea is that you sign up for a weekly bag of either vegetables (small, standard, family size), with or without a fruit supplement. More details about their prices can be found here.
Payment is taken weekly via direct debit at the beginning of the week, and on Wednesday or Thursday your bag of produce will be available in one of the pick-up points dotted around Camden and Kentish Town. The one I’m using is really convenient as it’s a big locker in Camden Town Market, right opposite our office at Titanium Tutors.
Why I would highly recommend it:
Local and seasonal
I grew up in the South of France, surrounded by lots of farmers’ markets offering fresh produce, so I’ve always been used to eating seasonally — having tomatoes in winter was never really an option. However, I find that living in London has often thrown me off; with supermarkets offering all types of produce all year round, it’s easy to lose track of seasons and air miles. On this veg box scheme, the food comes from small organic farms located as close to London as possible.
Ethical and fair
The scheme is not for profit and encourages fair trade, which means you can be reassured that every penny you spend with them goes toward supporting farmers or the development of the scheme. They also work with local partners to make sure that any leftover veggies get used up, so the question of food waste is also addressed.
Tasty and easy
Because in the end, this is the main question, right? To be honest, the pears I’ve had from the bag are the best ones I’ve ever had, and I really enjoy the weekly selection. The bag also comes with a newsletter, which has two or three recipes that you can make with the contents of the bag. I try at least one recipe a week and they’ve never failed me — I particularly enjoyed a Jerusalem artichoke risotto in February, which I probably would never have thought of making without this!
Why it might not be for you:
If you are a picky eater
A word of warning: you can pick the size and type of your bag, but do not get to select your veggies individually on veg box schemes. I personally think this is great, as it means you get to experiment with things you wouldn’t have picked yourself, but I can understand how it may not appeal to less adventurous people or people with specific dietary needs.
If you do not have time to cook
What you get is fresh produce that will need some work before getting to your plate. It doesn’t have to be complicated and, in most cases, veggies can end up roasted, in a soup, or in a salad, but if you’re really pressed for time you may find that this is not the best option for you. In their newsletter, Kentish Town Vegbox recently recommended meal kit boxes like Hello Fresh — even though they use up quite a bit of packaging, they still cut carbon emissions by 1/3 compared to grocery store bought food.
Will you give a veg box scheme a try? Where do you get your veggies? I’d love to hear about other schemes like this throughout London! Let me know in the Comments section below.
Blog Post Crafted by Adeline
Adeline manages the staff on our Admin Team, liaising with tutors, clients and applicants. She is responsible for processing the ID, Qualifications, DBS Check and References for all our newly joining tutors, as well as taking tuition enquiries, matching tutors to clients, and supporting tutors and clients throughout the process of tuition.