I'm currently traveling England to research food and farming culture here. I would like to post a series of entries recording my findings. 日本語はあとで付け足す予定です。
Although Jamie Oliver, Nigella Lawson, Hairy Bikers, and other young food creators are quite populor nationwide, especially when they are on BBC programs, there is a definitive guardian of the food culture, the the Prince of Wales. His own brand, DUCHY ORIGINALS introduces immense varieties of organic foods, and one of the largest supermarket chain, Waitrose collaborates to develop and distribute the products nationwide.
The royalties go to the prince's countryside charity fund, and support organic farming initiatives. He also endoses various non profit organizations, for example, the Garden Organic and The Heritage Seed Library where I attended the organic and heritage seed learning course.
Buying organic is not a special thing in England. Waitrose pushes its own organic brand, and I could find an organic alternative to almost any food, not only vegetables but also such as meat, condiments, oil, flour, dairy, juice, wine, and so on.
Those organic products do cost more than than non-organic. But I felt that the difference is not larger than 20% in most cases, and the taste does prove its quality.
The another reason to buy and cook organic ingredients is tax (VAT). Most of fresh ingredients are exempted from VAT, but when you dine out, you have to pay 20% of VAT, and plus 10% of service charge. Many people whom I spoke here say that dining out is too expensive when considering the quality of food. Probably I would much prefer spending on better organic ingredients rather than spending on over-priced restaurant food.