Thursday, 5 September 2013

Organic smorganic

Yes........but, is not really the answer the world is looking for when it comes to what’s better, organic or non-organic. With all the ho-ha about the wonders of organic food, you should think that questions like this is irrelevant, but they’re not. 
You would expect to be wowed by the taste of organic produce to the point of writhing poems and songs about but instead, we have to look at smelly Chefs cooking three chickens, one supposedly organic, on TV and having their friends taste it, hoping they would choose the correct one. If it is this difficult for people in the food industry to taste the difference, how difficult will it be for a cash starved mother of 6. If you listen to what Mr Big Shot Chef said, it shouldn't even have been a problem, organic should be so much better that it jumps of the tasting plate, grab you by the scruff of the neck and lead you down culinary roads only reserved for kings. 
Does this conundrum tasting prove that organic is good or that the cheap grocery store bought ones are bloody good as well? Personally, I like good eating and to prove my point, I'm fat. This is the result of a medical condition called over-indulgence and I blame it on the genetic composition inherited from my human ancestors. 
I must fess-up though, I have bought some bad chicken at grocery stores and one totally inedible organic birdie straight from the farmer at a farmers market, but I think the organic one was already an old bird before organic became the buzz word it is today. Even if you used the age old recipe for cooking "old" birds on a big flat rock in a pot of good quality chicken stock for twelve hours (then throw the bird and stock away and eat the rock), the cooked rock would still have been better eating.
I think that the time have come that we see the "organic" marketing ploy for what it is, a marketing ploy misused by many to sell their product at a premium. The cold hard facts about the matter is, farmers do not have the luxury of setting 10 hectares of land aside for 100 chickens to roam free and grow up to be tasty and cheap Sunday roast. If anybody believes this is possible, please share your knowledge with me, I won’t tell, but I want to go into that kind of farming.
On the flip side of the spectrum lies some of the most disgusting farming methods practised by man. It comes in many guises as so called battery-, crate- or cage farming (I have seen it called by some other names as well) and I have seen one of my food hero's, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, moved to tears on just such a chicken farm in the UK. I have seen this method of farming used not only for chickens, but other animals as well. Shame on all of us meat eaters for allowing this form of farming to exist and flourish. Sadly, this is the reality of an ever growing world population that want to eat meat at the lowest price possible. Somewhere, someone is going to provide at whatever means, no matter how disgusting. If we think that governments can afford to close down farms like this, think again. They have a responsibility towards the citizens to keep them fed at a price they can afford.
So what am I actually saying? Somewhere between the BS of the "organic" movement and the cruellest form of farming imaginable, there must be a balance and we meat eaters will have to make the choice. Will we pay more for a well farmed piece of meat that in some cases taste somewhat better, or do we buy what we can afford, no matter what.
You decide for yourselves.

Now, let's go cook something!


  1. Congratulations on being granted a Visa. I am from Christchurch, but currently live in Pietermaritzburg, and work in Sierra Leone. I see no future for myself in South Africa and am planning to move back to Christchurch early next year with my partner and adopted son. All of the best for your family's future. I hope that everything works out for the best for you. Christchurch is a great city, and after the rebuild sounds as though it is really going to be special.

    1. Thanks, I hope we can meet when you are back in Chch. South Africa (most of Africa) is beautiful, but I think NZ is better and we've got the Crusaders and All Blacks here :^)

  2. I saw your blog linked through BBC. I hope everything works out for you! Don't give up the good fight.