Yesterday was a ‘bio’ Saturday. ‘Bio’ does not stand for ‘bionic’, but for the French adjective ‘biologique’, which means organic in English. According to Bio Suisse, the umbrella association for Swiss organic farming, organic foods had an overall market share of close to seven (6.9) per cent and accounted for nine (9.1) per cent of the fresh food market in 2013, which is a decent share of the market I would say. The requirements for the Swiss Bio certification (the bud label) are quite high; they include (but are not limited to — please read this document for a full list) the whole-farm approach, areas dedicated to the furthering of biodiversity as well as rigorous limits regarding the use of fertilisers and copper.
We try to buy organic food whenever we have the choice to do so because we believe in the principles that underlie this type of farming: sustainability, social equity, health preservation, etc. More recently, we have re-started to buy organic food from the market that is held in Lausanne on Wednesday and Saturday mornings. So yesterday we went to town and bought some organic produce from two stalls, one was at place de la Riponne, the other at the nearby place de la Palud.
ARTeBIO, Lausanne (picture taken on Sunday 25 Jan)
Once we had bought all the vegetables we wanted, we went to a shop only a stone’s throw away which I had wanted to pay a visit to a couple of months earlier, but unfortunately it was closed when I went there in August of last year (how time flies!). The name of this shop is ‘ARTeBIO’ because the first floor houses a mini art gallery. I had cycled past the shop in March of last year and I had noticed that the shop sold a range of environment-friendly detergents, which was why I was interested in going inside. Yesterday, we were very happy with our visit as ‘ARTeBIO’ proved to be a little treasure trove of a shop and the owner was very friendly and funny. My wife managed to find some almond essential oil as well as some coco oil and, food wise, some tempeh whereas I was able to get a special tea from Argentina, organic pasta, beetroot juice, etc.
In short, we had a nice ‘bio’ Saturday.
Postscript (26 January)
As for our eggs, we buy organic eggs more than nine times out of ten. We used to buy them from one of the two main retail chains in Switzerland, i.e. Migros and Coop, but since I discovered this ecological brand that is sold at a local Denner outlet in May of last year, I tend to go there to buy our eggs. Not only does the farmer put his hens on a 100% vegetable diet, but the farm is powered by renewable energy and the eggs are delivered by an electrical van!
Organic eggs from La Ferme des Trois Epis, éco-oeuf.ch
Of course, I have not checked these claims, but I am prepared to believe the owners of this very green hen farm. However, if it were not for my wife who uses a lot of eggs in her (Asian) cooking, I would do without eggs because male chicks are killed at birth in some very horrible ways (although I do not know about this farm):
Male chick about to be crushed to death, Veggie Pride, Geneva, 18 May 2013
In fact, with the mass murder factories the Nazis operated in WWII and the killing fields of Pol Pot’s henchmen, the battery farming of hens must be one of the closest examples of hell on earth as devised by man (yes, ‘man’, not ‘humans’ because it is the male part of humanity that is mainly responsible for such atrocious acts).
You might be interested in this rather similar entry (also on this blog)