In the dark and dreary depths of winter in London, we joined Netflix (can you hear the angels sing? heavenly). After we zombied through the first month in the land of House of Cards (oh my), Breaking Bad, Orange is the New Black, etc., we took a sharp detour and found ourselves purusing the food documentary section.
In a very short (and slightly embarassing) amount of time, we had watched:
- Supersize me (which lead to my better half going to get a Big Mac)
- Forks over Knives
- Food, Inc.
- Fat Sick and Nearly Dead
By the end of it, I was ready to waive goodbye to all mean and animal products. I also may have cried several times at the sheer inhumanity of animal conditions (oh the boy chicks!!). I stood up and declared, “now I shall become vegan”. My husband laughed… for at least 25 minutes (during which time I scowled at him). When he was finished, he said, “so you know you can’t eat any more cheese”. My state of self-declared veganism lasted for a whole 25 minutes (very successfully, I might add).
Instead, we have started making more serious efforts in our selection of food – eating a lot less meat, buying cheese from local producers and smaller farms instead of big industrial outfits and switching from regular moo-juice to nut and coconut milk. Also, in a city where groceries are already outrageously priced, I have been on the prowl for opportunities to get the best deal possible on local and organic meats, veggies and fruit – which has been painful… until I discovered this:
I first discovered Abel & Cole on one of the many fabulous London blogs I read religiously (ahh! can’t remember which one it was – so sorry). Farm fresh, organic produce (and meat for my carnivore at home) delivered to my door every single week? Yes, puhleeeeze!
So I got online, opened an account using a promocode featured on their site (4th box free- what!?) and started exploring the goods. They have three different sized fruit, vegetable and mixed fruit/veg boxes (small, medium and large) for a range of prices. Each box comes with at least 5 different locally grown, organic fruits/veggies. And not just one of them, lots. On their site, you can see excatly what is coming in your box and you can let them know what you don’t like or don’t want and they replace it with something else!
They also have meat and barbeque boxes available, as well as juicing boxes (for all you juicers out there) and exotic boxes for the adventurous types. In addition, you can order any type of fruit/veg/meat/grocery items they have available and they deliver it with your weekly box.
I ordered the medium mixed fruit/veg box (for 2-4 people) hoping that it would be enough to last the whole week. I also decided to pick out some nice organic steaks for my better half (who is constantly complaining I don’t buy enough beef… um hello? we live in the land of mad cow…), six organic, free range eggs and a kilo of gala apples (which we have scheduled for every other week).
Thursday morning, bright and early, we received our first delivery! Bliss!
In our box this week we received:
- hokkaido squash
- cherry vine tomatos
- fairtrade bananas
- new potatos
- spring onions
And as you can see, there is a perfect amount of everything! And the meat came packaged in a wool-lined box (“woolcool” box) with special eco-friendly, reusable ice packs to keep the meat cool for hours upon hours in case the delivery man had to leave our boxes outside our flat.
As part of our first delivery, we also received a huge cookbook with tons of recipe ideas for all the different types of local produce, organized by season! By jove, these Brits are totally on it. Not only that, but they sent a little booklet explaining where the produce came from along with a little explanatory guarantee:
But what about the price? I jumped on the internet with my list of fresh and amazing organic groceries from Abel & Cole and did a price check with other London grocery stores. Using the same produce, same quantities and selecting organic (where available), this is what I found:
With Abel & Cole, we paid £37.92 including delivery.
At Tesco, the same groceries would have cost £41.30 excluding delivery (and without everything being organic).
At Waitrose, the same groceries would have cost £54.78 excluding delivery (but all organic).
So basically, this is the best thing that has ever happend. My main man grilled up some steak (for him), sauteed some potatos and steamed some broccoli last night and it was to.die.for!
Holy happy bunnies, chickens and cows, friendly farmers and high standards! I am impressed.