new food trends in Belgium: organic, box and truck – part 1: organic

What other consumer countries have already embraced a while ago, now is local to Belgium: eat organic , food boxes delivered to your door, and meet your favorite food-truck in town. Let me break down each trend for you.

Sebastien in Antwerp

Trend ONE: Organic and waste less:

Many a place in the countryside
already invite you to pop in and buy potatoes or strawberries fresh from the
field. Today a  near 100% organic shop or eatery in town is a booming trend.
You cannot hide from organic
anymore; every magazine or food show reminds us to eat local, seasonal and
organic. And if you missed it, they launched a national challenge to reduce the
consumption of meat and fish from 18 February for 40 days. About 43.000 people
signed up and committed this way to reduce their ecological footprint, waste of
water and greenhouse gas emissions. It takes for 1kg of beef about 9kg of grain
or soya, i.e. plenty of land, energy and water.

The stores: You can find plenty of gluten free options,
but also a wide variety of fairtrade products. To me this is like a foodie Ali
Baba’s cave: full of treasures to discover and experiment with. I like taking
my time to walk the isles and read packaging and imagine what I can do with it.
They also have fresh fruit and veg but those compare to produce found at the
many markets in town.
Supermarkets are picking up the
trend as well. Such as Delhaize, they promote “Respecting our Planet” where
they promote selling local, seasonal produce and fairtrade but also focus on
saving energy and reduce or recycle waste. A clear message of provenance and
sustainability is also being promoted by Carrefour.
Robuust in Antwerp
I shop at the Farm near Merode and Label Green near Lepoutre in Brussels.  The
Zero-waste shop Robuust in Antwerp is a bit out of the way to shop regularly
but is a fun concept to bring your own container and fill it up with dry goods. 
The Belgian eateries: “Don’t’ panic, It’s Organic” is the slogan of
Le Pain Quotidien who reinvented themselves to be 100 % organic and it works.
“Exki” has been promoting quality fast-food with perfect insight into the
ingredients, the composition and the nutritional value of the products since
1999. They donate a cup of coffee to the homeless with each purchase, already
serving over 67 000 cups.
The Foodmaker is proud of their
biodegradable packaging and donates leftover food to homeless organisations.
Café de la Presse and du Sablon, offer a large variety of fairtrade coffees and promote the provenance
of their products on their FB page reporting from their trips to Panama and El
Salvador, picking out the coffee beans themselves. They do seem to share that contemporary country look of untreated oak and black metal also like a little gem i found in Antwerp called Sebastien.

Farm in Brussels

How I like my organic? I definitely seek out to eat as much as
possible produce in season and like to cut out wheat when possible. I love the
many spelt pastas and breads you now can find everywhere now. Some gluten free
crackers, cookies and chips also end up in my shopping basket. Currently I am
making my way through testing several organic lemonades and sodas as I hope to
find a calorie-less alternative for my afternoon Coke. I love Elderflower
cordial and ginger beer, how British! but not readily available in Brussels. I
don’t mind paying a bit extra for the quality you get in return but I don’t
solely live organic and cutting out meat is hard but I do have at minimum 1
fruit and veggie only day per week. Does it matter to me I know where my food
is coming from and how much energy it took, to be honest it’s a fun fact to
know but I don’t actively search out those answers. To me those new stores feel like they are replacing the neighborhood shops this does not mean they automatically
equal quality, one still needs to evaluate, compare and taste. 
Wasting less energy or generating less waste are becoming part of the next generation and so it should be if we wish to help our planet little bit longer. 

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  • It is wonderful that there are so many stores around! I stick to the "less waste, great taste" philosophy so that stores are just what I'm looking for! It is important to change our lifestyle not only to be healthier, but also to help reduce the waste and minimize our footprint!