Make an Impact in Your Community by Supporting Local and Organic Farming

Make an Impact in Your Community by Supporting Local and Organic Farming

You’re a conscious and conscientious consumer. You care about where you put your hard-earned money, and what businesses you’re supporting by handing over those bills. You care about the quality of food that you put on your table. You care about where it comes from. You care – and that’s fantastic. Here’s how you make a real difference when you show that you care about your local food system by using farmers markets and food delivery, starting with the contrast between local and industrial food systems. How Local, Real Food and Industrial Food Systems Contrast Local food is sold in the vicinity where it’s grown. It isn’t shipped hundreds or even thousands of miles to reach supermarket shelves, and it generally isn’t picked before it’s ripe. Local food is available for the local community. The farming practices for local food are different from the norm, too. Real food is picked and sold within a few days – sometimes even on the same day. It’s perfectly fresh and ripe, and it got all the time it needed on the tree, vine, bush, or plant. Local organic farming practices also mean that the land in the area is healthier. It’s tended with sustainability and energy-conservation in mind, as well as natural methods to keep pests and weeds at bay, without chemical fertilizers and pesticides. In contrast, industrial food systems are focused on profit alone. Food is shipped far and wide. It’s picked long before it’s ripe, because that way it will last longer and not spoil before it lands on supermarket shelves in produce aisles. Fields are sprayed liberally with pesticides,...
What Is An Organic Delivery Service?

What Is An Organic Delivery Service?

There are a couple of hassles involved with any kind of produce shopping. Number one, you want the freshest produce with the best taste. Unfortunately, at conventional stores, the options are often slim. The fruits are old and bruised, the vegetables have been sitting in a warehouse for weeks, and once you get them home and take a bite, the taste leaves something to be desired. The farmers market has much better produce – fresher, tastier, and all-around more flavourful. You know it was picked only a day or two ago, or maybe even that morning. The problem here is selection and time. The market might only be open certain days during the week, and sometimes you just don’t have room in your schedule to make a pit stop. The selection is wonderful, but you’re not sure which vendor to choose for lettuce, or who has the best tomatoes. Here is where an organic delivery service swoops in to save the day. An online farmers market like Ooooby does the leg-work for you: choosing the freshest, best local produce that’s in season from reliable, organic growers and farmers, boxing it up, and sending it straight to your doorstep. Read on for more details on what sets an online market apart from the other options, and why you should choose online grocery shopping. Online Farmers Markets: The Basics Organic Food, Sustainably Sourced & Carefully Selected No more standing in the produce department, agonizing over which box of strawberries looks the best. No more picking up each and every avocado for sale and measuring their firmness. No more wandering through a...
6 Benefits of Cooking With Seasonal Produce

6 Benefits of Cooking With Seasonal Produce

There are so many benefits of eating local! Your produce is juicier and more delicious, and it tastes fresher because it hasn’t travelled many miles from a factory farm. One aspect of eating locally is that you must pick your produce by what’s in-season. Eating seasonally means that you eat what’s grown locally and what’s in-season. Most countries host a vast selection of delicious fruits and vegetables that grow throughout the year. Having food year-round means you have a delicious dinner in store for you every day of the year. This is what makes eating seasonally so exciting! We’ve put together a few reasons for why you should consider eating seasonally. 1. You Can Taste the Difference With Fresh Produce Trust us; fruit that has just been picked from the tree is juicier and more delicious. Food that is imported from different areas or even different countries will sit in distribution centres before it gets to you, so the taste just isn’t as delicious as local, seasonal fruit. 2. Fresh Produce Has Higher Nutritional Value Because the produce has not been sitting on a shelf for hours, it can be consumed closer to harvest. When you consume produce fresh from harvest, the produce is higher in nutritional value. Take a look next time you’re in a super market: fresh fruit will be brighter in colour and look the juiciest! In addition, food that has travelled far will most likely be sprayed with preservatives. 3. Eating Seasonally Matches Your Seasonal Needs Have you ever noticed how most fruit grows in the summer, and heavier vegetables grow in the winter? That’s...

3 Reasons to Eat Fresh, Local, Organic Food

Imagine summer days picking ripe, red strawberries in the garden, or plucking sweet-tart raspberries straight from the bush. Think about autumn afternoons in an orchard, choosing the crispest, juiciest apples. Why does fresh-picked produce taste so much better than the stuff you can get at the store? Why do fruits and veggies that are in-season have so much more flavour? Read more for the answer, as well as reasons you should think about buying fresh, local, and organic food. 1.    Local Produce Gets More Time on the Vine, Plant, or Tree Produce you purchase from a farmer’s market that’s locally grown doesn’t have to travel far to get to you. It’s usually picked at the peak of ripeness and then is available for sale right away. This is in stark contrast to grocery store produce, which most likely travels hundreds of miles and is picked well before it’s ripe. In comparison, local, organic fruits and veggies picked at their peak have advantages over store produce that has been sitting for weeks on the shelf: More Nutrients Since local produce has more time to ripen, and you get it as soon as it’s ripe, it retains more nutrients than food that has been shipped from far-away locales and sits in warehouses. Better Flavour Produce that gets longer to ripen before it is picked tastes better. For instance, you’ll notice the difference between an organic, local peach and a store-bought peach right when you take that first bite. One is bursting with flavour; the other is, in a word, lacklustre. Better flavour in locally grown produce equals better-tasting recipes, too. 2.   ...
Supercharge Your Health by Eating Fresh, Local Food

Supercharge Your Health by Eating Fresh, Local Food

Eating fresh local food is critical to maintaining great health. With the nutritional value of fruits and vegetables dropping soon after harvest, how can we mitigate this? Nutrient loss is minimized by cold storage of produce, but even in refrigeration, the drop continues. Imagine how depleted of valuable nutrients your produce is when your food has sometimes traveled 2,500 miles before it even gets to the store! Having access to eat fresh, local food is a much better choice. Most of today’s consumers want to know where their food comes from. According to Choice.com.au’s survey, knowing the origin of food is as important as price. The government in Australia is currently releasing labels that identify the country of origin for products, but that may not answer all of a consumer’s questions. As to the major grocers in Australia and their commitment to offering Australian or local fruits and veggies, here are their official statements: Cole’s has made a few commitments to source parts of their frozen veggies from Aussie farmers via contracts with Simplot and Ardmona. Woolworth’s has a similar commitment, has contracts with Simplot and Ardmona, and they do not use any genetically modified foods in their own brands. According to Choice.com.au’s Rachel Clemons, Aldi’s engages in a bit of double-speak by saying that while they try to source locally, if the quantity or quality is not available locally, they import from overseas. The Top 10 Nutritional Elements Necessary For Peak Performance  Whether you are a desk jockey or an athlete, you are what you eat. What you eat determines how well you perform on sedentary tasks as...
Making Organic Food Fun and Affordable on a Family Budget

Making Organic Food Fun and Affordable on a Family Budget

Mahatma Gandhi urged us to be the change we want to see in the world. In a culture of prepackaged food and artificial ingredients, one of the best ways we can be that change is to eat organic and naturally grown produce from local farmers. If we want to see fewer chemicals in our families bellies, we must begin by buying fresh and organic food raised locally at farmers markets. The nature of organic and natural farming Organic and natural farmers learn the nature and needs of the soil they use for growing crops. They know that the quality of that soil has a profound effect on what comes out of it. Building healthy soils results in growing healthy plants. Organic crops require a lot more than just dumping chemicals around plants to control weeds and to fertilize them, and pretending the chemicals do not leach into the plants, filling them with toxins. Organic and natural farmers rely on weeding by hand, mechanical weed control, mulching, crop rotation, cover crops, and dense planting to provide plants with the proper nutrients for growth. This means that the organic produce you feed your family is more nutrient dense than their chemically raised counterparts. It also tastes better. 8 Fun facts about veggies Getting to know your vegetables is part of the fun of getting a local and fresh produce box from Ooooby, as they are packed with a variety of seasonal produce. Here are some interesting veggie factoids: White potatoes, a good source of fiber when baked, were cultivated first by South American Andes Mountain Indians. Did you know that tomatoes...
Like a walk in the park

Like a walk in the park

Well maybe not a walk in the park, and while it’s not rocket science it is complicated. In the words of Paula Allen from Palmerston North:  Ooooby is being created by New Zealanders aiming to make it easier for consumers to eat healthy food that’s grown and produced close to where they live. It turns out that’s much harder to do than common-sense would suggest. Who would have thought? 31 May, 2016 – It was her tone, as she shared with another packer that the Lettuce had been frozen overnight, that tipped me off. Upstairs Jan and Nicky were frantically trying to source another 100 organic Lettuces. Not a chance! Hurriedly constructed letters for the boxes and out they went with the Beetroot, horror of horrors, in plastic bags. They had also been in the refrigerated container that had been accidentally turned to Freeze, so were pretty juicy – but still edible and tasty, as was confirmed later. The Ooooby crew were all present to the challenge. They quickly took measures to reduce the likelihood of that happening again, and dealt with the issue. I was proud to be part of it, and see them all pull together to make the best of a bad situation and take decisions that were measured and considered. Attempting to circumvent the ”status quo” industrial food system is not an easy thing, but an important one. One of the challenges is finding enough local growers and, with a ”just in time” direct supply chain, we can’t rely on all the buffers that a warehoused food system can fall back on. This week Jan, who organises what will go in the coming week’s...
A delicious and nutritious fruit and vegetable smoothie recipe

A delicious and nutritious fruit and vegetable smoothie recipe

A great way to use fruits and vegetables is in smoothies. Not only are there lots of different recipes available, they are super easy to make, taste great and thanks to the ingredients used, are very nutritious. For your basic smoothie all you need is a cup of vegetables, a cup of fruits and a liquid base. To increase the flavour and nutritional value you can also add in protein powders, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices. Using Ooooby’s products you can create a wide variety of smoothie recipes. This deep red coloured one makes use of the following ingredients: 1/2 a frozen banana – using frozen fruits helps make smoothies thicker, giving them a milkshake like consistency, and bananas work especially well at achieving this. You probably already know that bananas are an excellent source of potassium; a medium sized one provides you with 12% of your daily requirement. They are also a good source of vitamin B6, a vitamin required for energy production. Bananas are a digestive aid, and are great to have before working out. The natural sugars that they contain help to make this smoothie more palatable. 1/2 a cup of carrots – carrots are very low in calories but are the best food source of vitamin A. In fact one medium carrot provides you with more than 200% of your daily requirement! The only other vegetable that comes close to having this amount is the sweet potato. Vitamin A promotes eye health, gives you glowing skin, provides immune support and fights inflammation. The antioxidant beta-carotene which is found in carrots is thought to inhibit the growth of cancer cells and may reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes....
Bananas! Local?

Bananas! Local?

While the most ardent locavores might choose to not have bananas in their Ooooby box, the reality is that Kiwi’s like ’em. Did you know we import more bananas per head of population than almost any other nation (maybe something they give us that’s missing in our soil – I don’t know). So in the early days, while operating from the first Ooooby hub, a converted shipping container on an empty section in Grey Lynn, we polled our Ooooby customers to see if they wanted bananas in their boxes, and got a resounding yes! At this point in the story, it’s important to understand why we are ‘doing’ Ooooby. The food system we have come to reply on since the advent of supermarkets some 60 years ago (in NZ), has had an unintended consequence of supporting large scale monoculture, and long-distance food. As we sit here in 2016, most people get their food from an industrial and globalised food system.   Ooooby’s mission is to make local food easy and fair, everywhere. One of the first steps is to build a base of customers, so as demand increases, we can go out to the local farmers, and want-to-be local farmers, and let them know we have a channel to market for their produce – thereby increasing local production. At the moment, there is a distinct lack of local and naturally (non-chemical) fruit and vegetable production, so we need to: Build a base of satisfied customers Seek out the most local and most natural produce we can find. Building a customer base means meeting their needs and wants while paying attention to the philosophy we...
Not your average bean-counter

Not your average bean-counter

OR “What to do with those greens in your Ooooby box” Our calendars had the “Ooooby in the Valley” gathering locked in for a few months. The last one was two years ago and we were overdue. So last week our geographically dispersed crew came together for some much needed face to face time, though our crew video calls must be working because Pete and Susan had to think hard whether they had actually met in the flesh (they hadn’t). As a lead in Thursday was a full day strategy session with Mark Barr, generously hosted by Deloitte’s who gave us a meeting room in their Auckland office. In the context of wanting to actively support rising stars in the enterprise space, Deloitte’s have been helping us better understand investment protocol and organisational structure options that could match our mission driven organisation. Ooooby in the Valley offers the core crew a chance to check-in and allow the space for the magic that comes from being together for a few days.   On Friday I met Susan, Davy and Nick off the ferry and we drove out to the village, and Pete’s home, which he kindly toured us. Rather artfully and without wasting time, Susan soon invited us to pair off and ask each other a few key questions, including: “What do you most appreciate about yourself?” What a fabulous way to get grounded and present, before launching into visions of a transformed food system and Ooooby’s part in it. Pete had listed some top level questions, with the last scraps of chalk in his house.  Ooooby is working to make...