Growing Communities Veg Boxes

One week's fruit and veg bag from Growing Communities in Hackney

Within two days of becoming vegan, I realised that I was going to have to make some major changes to how I shopped for food. It wasn't just that I was suddenly spending much more money on fresh food in the supermarket, but without the added flavour of things like grated cheese, roux sauces or mayonnaise, I realised the produce I was buying tasted bland, watered down and sort of a lost in translation version of how I expected them to taste. 

I'm ashamed to admit it was only after switching to a vegetable box scheme that I realised potatoes have distinct different flavours depending on variety, or that salad leaves actually HAVE a flavour, that changes from leaf to leaf, taking command over a sandwich when before I just used them as filler.

If I am totally honest, my vegetable box order has completly changed how I eat in every way. There's the obvious things: it's all seasonal, it's as local as possible, and it means a lot fewer trips to the supermarket. But the changes I didn't expect have been the best. 

Washing the mud off all your carrots until you can see the first signs of orange, or red for beetroot, or pink for potatoes, and you're reminded that everything you're dealing with came from the ground, not stackable plastic supermarket palettes. I know I sound mad here but when you take away the distractions, vegetables are bloody brilliant. 

Using supermarkets less means you waste a whole lot less food. There's no BOGOFs or weird impulse buys when most of what you're getting through arrives once a week. This also means we've had to become much more careful with how much food we cook each night. I used to stick in a whole bag of potatoes for mash and think nothing of it. Now I know the six potatoes we get have to last three meals- and any leftovers go for lunch. And there's always leftovers. 

Most of the fruit and vegetables featured on Guac and Roll will be from the Growing Communities vegetable and fruit bags. The variety and warts-and-all produce is down to them, and I can't thank them enough for completely changing how I think about the food I eat each day.