1. You’ll be joining a community
With its hyperlocal focus, cooperative status, network of pick-up points and volunteer opportunities, when you sign up to Kentish Town Vegbox you’re getting more than just a bag of vegetables once a week. Our members are part of a vibrant, active community, with regular social gatherings like Christmas drinks and our annual AGM (online for now, offline soon we hope). Come along on a Wednesday and help pack bags, or you could even join the board and help shape the future of Kentish Town Vegbox. Plus profits are invested back into the community through support for local food projects.
2. You’ll be supporting small-scale farmers
Kentish Town Vegbox is supplied directly by small-scale organic and low-environmental-impact farms, mostly in southeast England. Our farmers are paid fairly and promptly and can supply us with what’s available in the fields that week, rather than being tied to restrictive demands from the supermarkets.
3. You’ll be supporting organic agriculture
Intensive industrial agriculture demands immense inputs of energy, water and other non-renewable natural resources, poisons the soil, air and water with chemicals, destroys wild and domesticated biodiversity and devastates soil fertility. Organic agriculture aims to re-establish an ecological balance and takes into consideration farming’s medium- and long-term effects on the ecosystem instead of focusing purely on maximum yield for minimum cost. And apart from the environmental benefits of organic agriculture, reducing the amount of pesticides you eat can only be a good thing!
4. You get fresh fruit and veg
Because our produce is supplied directly from local farmers rather than shipped across the world or passing through numerous steps along complex supply chains, it tends to be fresher and last longer once it’s in your fridge, meaning not just tastier veggies but also less food waste. Muddy carrots and dusty potatoes might not be the prettiest, but unwashed root vegetables have a longer shelf-life than their pristine cousins.
5. You get seasonal fruit and veg
It might be a cliché to complain about tasteless strawberries air-freighted from Chile in December, but like all clichés it’s based on truth. Apart from tastier fruit and veg, eating in tune with the seasons gives you a connection to nature that’s often sorely missing in big cities. The environmental impact is lower, and fleetingly brief seasons mean a greater appreciation. Instead of eating it mindlessly all year round, better to gorge on asparagus for those few weeks of April and May when the green stalks are available.
6. You get local fruit and veg
Linked to the environmental benefits of eating seasonally are the benefits of eating locally: a connection to the surrounding land, but also a massive reduction in food miles. Relying on local produce also increases resilience in the food supply chain, with less impact from major shocks like Brexit or the pandemic.
7. You’ll eat more vegetables
The “5 a day” recommendation should really be more like 10 a day according to a study by Imperial College London that looked at 2 million people’s dietary habits and showed that eating 800 g (10 portions) of fruit and vegetables a day dramatically reduced the risk of cancer, heart disease and premature death. A weekly influx of Vegbox veg makes it easy if not imperative to include more produce in your everyday diet.
8. You’ll diversify what you cook
You might not automatically grab a bag of leafy purslane or knobbly celeriac on your way through the supermarket aisles – and they might not even be there – but when they show up on your doorstep you have the perfect opportunity to try out something new rather than sticking with safe favourites. Luckily the internet offers plenty of inspiration if you’re not sure what to do with nettles, radish greens or swede.
9. You’ll end up with less packaging
Kentish Town Vegbox is committed to reducing the packaging on its fruit and veg to the bare minimum. Our nylon bags should be returned every week, and as many vegetables as possible are packed loose inside them. Plastic bags and hard plastic are used only when absolutely necessary to maintain the freshness and integrity of the produce, and all of our packaging, whether paper or plastic, can be returned to us for reuse.
10. You can avoid the supermarket
A vegbox scheme offers a way to participate in a different kind of food system, one that puts people and the environment first rather than blindly pursuing profit at all costs.