Knowing your lettuce and onions

I remember the first time I ate fresh organic lettuce. During a visit to the BBC Good Food Show my friend and I stopped at a stall hosted by an organic farmer. The lettuce had been picked that morning and it tasted incredibly good. The leaves had this wonderful earthy taste to them. I can’t even remember what variety of lettuce it was (not an iceberg okay), but I can still remember the flavour. And so I had my first introduction to organic food.

The popularity of organic produce has increased considerably in recent years, yet the argument over whether it is actually better for you still goes on. As a humble consumer it can be difficult to understand the scientific explanations as to why this method or that method of farming is more suitable. But I do know I can tell when something tastes delicious.

As I said before I haven’t really paid much attention to the organic market and yet I was horrified to discover that the Soil Association were closing down, their website for consumers. I had only recently found the site and felt reassured to know that here was an information service which would explain to me the issues and values which the organic farming community hold dear. Even in the backwaters of my limited understanding I’d come to realise that the Soil Association’s attention to quality was the touchstone of the UK’s organic revolution.

All is not lost however. The Soil Association are going to continue to provide for nieve shoppers like me through their main website,, which is undergoing a redesign and should be launched in the next month or so. If I pay enough attention I may be able to learn my Bridgemere from my Cocarde.

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