We all know we should be mindful of where our veg comes from. And now, it’s never been easier to trace the origins of your five a day.
First up, let’s look at restaurants who grow their own. Snackbar is the newest Kickstarter-funded venture from uber foodie Freddie Janssen (Pickled, F.A.T, Lyle’s). Opening mid-August via a partnership with FARM:shop (the world’s first farming hub), the café will have its own indoor/outdoor allotments, meaning your salad will be just picked farm fresh. They will also have a fermentation basement, for all your good-gut pickled needs. Over at the Stepney City Farm, their new Humble Bee Café, run by ex-Hawksmoor chefs, will be using meat and veg from their own farm, in addition to things from other ethical/sustainable suppliers.
Next, it’s the suppliers that are making it easier to buy traceable veg. Natoora works directly with small scale growers to source produce that is, truly, actually, in season. Green citrus from Sicily, white peaches from Campania, collard from Cornwall; sustainable, nutritionally rich, and displayed like designer products, this produce is good. It’s not cheap, but for the quality and fair farming practice, things are not actually thaaaaat expensive either (gazpacho is £2.99). Notting Hill has a café, complete with chic design and record player, which also makes a nice change from the usual eco decor.
Lastly it’s Big Barn, the ‘Amazon’ of local food, as they call themselves. With over 600 vendors selling almost 20,000 products online (meat, dairy, fish, drinks, you name it), this is a good overview of options. They also have a local food map, so you can see where good vendors/restaurants are close to you, an events calendar (for tastings etc.) and a news section.
We’re calling it now: don’t be surprised if you find yourself asking about the birthplace of your tomato sometime soon…