Veg Box Newsletter 3rd February: Fun With Onions

Hello Folks,

Let’s continue our tour of the underappreciated staples and turn our gaze to the humble onion. An onion is a game of pass the parcel for one. It is a package of flavour wrapped in brown paper. When you unwrap it, the flesh is pale and translucent. Raw, it is fierce. It adds crunch and balance to a salad. One of my favourite simple salads is chickpeas, raw onions, and mayonnaise with salt and black pepper: it sounds awful, but comes together into a creamy, crunchy, flavourful treat you probably have all the ingredients for.

Cook the onion, and it quickly yields. Fried in butter or olive oil in a frying pan, it turns transparent then takes on colour. Cooked hot and quick, it can be a crispy, tasty garnish; low and slow, it caramalises, grows dark and sticky, rich and sweet.

But most of all, onions are a sort of flavour-backbone, the place to start with most savoury cooking. Almost all of my favourite recipes begin the same way: chop an onion. Whether it’s then roasted in thick chunks alongside celeriac, or fried with carrots and celery for a tomato sauce, it is never skipped. I love chunky rings of onions draped with light, beery batter. I love onion soup, dark as night, with cheese on toast floating in it, absorbing all the strong, wonderful flavour a whole bag of onions has. I love onion gravy on toad-in-the-hole, onion bahjis from a takeaway, pickled onions with my chips, and french onion tart.

Onions are one of those miracle foods, which is why we have them so often: they are easy to grow, and versatile. They are easily transformed from something mundane into something special, and lend their flavour to dishes from all over the world. What will you do this week with your onions?

What impact are we having? 

As a Locavore customer, you’ll probably already know many of the ways that we’re not like other businesses. As a Community Interest Company we work to a set of aims which are pretty complex, but also pretty straightforward – we want to reshape the food system, and the way people think about food, by taking practical steps to get that food to where it’s needed. We want to do it in a way which is sustainable, fair, and honest, and probably most importantly of all in a way that makes people feel good about spending their hard earned money with us.

We’ve been doing this for quite a while now, and we’ve already gone way beyond many of the goals we set ourselves in the Big Plan, including the expansion of our veg box scheme and the success of the Victoria Road Shop. As we start to look at the next stage of our development, we’re embarking on a research project which will give us the chance to look in more detail at the effect we’re having, find out more about what’s working, and build our ideas on what else we can be doing. 

All of this is a longish way of saying that over the next few months we’ll be asking you more questions, with some surveys, chances to get involved in focus groups, and activities in the store, all aimed at finding out more about the things that are important to you, the reasons you choose to shop with us, and your thoughts on what else we can do that will keep you coming back to us. We’ll try to keep these surveys as short as possible, will always tell you why we’re asking, and will give feedback through our Facebook page and through these newsletters to tell you what we’re finding out. 

Question of the Week:

All of which leads neatly on to our first question of the week  a short survey for anyone who uses the Victoria Road shop. We’re interested to know more about the journeys people make to shop with us – where you live, how you get to us, and how often you make the journey. We’ll be using these to get a better idea of our physical footprint and the reach we have, to feed into our discussions about our environmental impacts. Thank you!


Veg Box Tips
: Returning packaging

For the next few weeks, I’ll be writing up some tips & tricks to make being a veg box customer as easy as can be. This week: Returning Packaging.

There are two kinds of packaging we collect: that we or our suppliers reuse and that we can recycle for you. We greatly appreciate these items being left out for your delivery driver to collect, or brought back to the shop when you pick up your next box. Here are some tips to make sure they can be collected, used, and recycled.

Reuse:
our cardboard veg boxes– please fold these. The trick is to pull the bottom down- hook your fingers into the holes in the bottom- and then compress lengthwise so it looks like a slightly flattened triangle.

Mossgiel Milk bottles– we can now only take the branded ones. Please rinse these out really well! Most of our drivers use their own vehicles, and none of them want to have their cars and vans smelling of old milk! They are all sanitised before being reused, but making sure they’re pretty clean before we pick them up makes our lives a lot easier, and an awful lot more pleasant. Some drivers won’t pick up bottles that haven’t been rinsed out properly, which we think is a reasonable line to draw- so wash em out if you want to make sure we can collect them.

Egg boxes- our plain ones only please!

Ed’s Bees honey jars- rinsed out and lids on.

We can Recycle:

Ella’s baby food pouches
Toothbrushes and empty toothpaste tubes
Plastic bottle tops
Locavore hummus containers (these are collected by Vegware and biodegraded)

We cannot take: crisp packets; non-Mossgiel glass bottles, including those sold at the Locavore shop for milk; batteries.

Events

Feb 11th, 730 – 930 pm

Campaign for a Healthy, Fair and Sustainable Food System – Tickets

run by Scottish Food Coalition

Food is at the heart of some of Scotland’s biggest challenges, from inequality to ill-health to ecological damage. Many people are priced out of a decent diet, reliant on food banks and suffering the consequences of poor nutrition. We are failing to adequately value the people who work to produce and process food, the farm animals, or the wildlife and resources that enable us to eat well.

Scottish Government is currently writing a new law on the food system – the Good Food Nation Bill. The Scottish Food Coalition is heading the Good Food Nation campaign to make sure the Bill promotes a fairer, healthier and more sustainable future for Scotland’s food system- and we would love to hear from you!

Join us for the evening- in this interactive workshop, you will have the opportunity to share your concerns about the food system, learn more about the Good Food Nation campaign and find out how you could get involved in the movement for a socially and environmentally just food system. No previous knowledge or experience is required.

Feb 18th, 6 – 7pm

Zero waste tour – Tickets

Shop tour

This event is for you if you are new to packaging free shopping or would like to feel more confident about buying loose goods and refills. We will show you how to shop without creating landfill waste.

You can find out how to use household and food refills, the milk machine, coffee grinder, scales used for loose goods and our recycling station. We will point out some packaging free items that might be new to you, even if you are a regular customer.

Free, but ticketed

Monthly Specials

This week, our meat boxes go out to those of you subscribed, full of useful cuts of sustainably-raised Organic meat.

Next week, our cheese box and our vegan box go out, so if you’d like delicious organic Scottish cheeses for

your cheese board, or to try exciting plant-based treats and useful vegan staples, email us to sign up!


You can learn more about our monthly special boxes here.

Check out storage guidance here for helpful tips and tricks on how to prolong the life of your fresh produce. If you’re wondering where your veg comes from, have a look at these maps. You can also join your fellow subscribers over in the Facebook group for lots of tips, tricks, and recipe ideas.

To contact us, ring 0141 378 1672 or email us at subscribers@glasgowlocavore.org


In the veg boxes this week:

Subject to last minute changes

Small veg box Farm Organic Certifier
Potatoes (Carolus) Chapel Farm Soil Association
Onions Chapel Farm Soil Association
Carrots Royal Oak, Scarisbrick Soil Association
Beetroot- Chioggia Chapel Farm Soil Association
Leeks Royal Oak, Scarisbrick Soil Association
Sprouts Royal Oak, Scarisbrick Soil Association
Standard veg box Farm Organic Certifier
Potatoes (Carolus) Chapel Farm Soil Association
Onions Chapel Farm Soil Association
Carrots Royal Oak, Scarisbrick Soil Association
Beetroot- Chioggia Chapel Farm Soil Association
Celeriac Chapel Farm Soil Association
Jerusalem artichokes Royal Oak, Scarisbrick Soil Association
Leeks Pollybell Organics Soil Association
Sprouts Royal Oak, Scarisbrick Soil Association
Large veg box Farm Organic Certifier
Potatoes (Carolus) Chapel Farm Soil Association
Onions Chapel Farm Soil Association
Carrots Royal Oak, Scarisbrick Soil Association
Beetroot- Chioggia Chapel Farm Soil Association
Celeriac Chapel Farm Soil Association
Jerusalem artichokes Royal Oak, Scarisbrick Soil Association
Leeks Pollybell Organics Soil Association
Kalettes Newfields, Yorkshire Soil Association
Extra Large veg box Farm Organic Certifier
Potatoes (Carolus) Chapel Farm Soil Association
Onions Chapel Farm Soil Association
Carrots Royal Oak, Scarisbrick Soil Association
Beetroot- Chioggia Chapel Farm Soil Association
Celeriac Chapel Farm Soil Association
Jerusalem artichokes Royal Oak, Scarisbrick Soil Association
Leeks Pollybell Organics Soil Association
Kalettes Newfields, Yorkshire Soil Association
Small fruit bag Farm / Origin Organic Certifier
Conference pears Mole End, East Sussex Soil Association
Navel oranges Spain Caae
Medium fruit bag Farm / Origin Organic Certifier
Gala Apples Mole End, East Sussex Soil Association
Conference pears Mole End, East Sussex Soil Association
Navel oranges Spain Caae
Large fruit bag Farm / Origin Organic Certifier
Gala Apples Mole End, East Sussex Soil Association
Conference pears Mole End, East Sussex Soil Association
Navel oranges Spain Caae
Extra large fruit bag Farm / Origin Organic Certifier
Gala Apples Mole End, East Sussex Soil Association
Conference pears Mole End, East Sussex Soil Association
Navel oranges Spain Caae
Limequats Spain Caae
Small supplementary veg Origin Organic Certifier
Banana shallots France Ecocert
Aubergine Spain Caae
Standard supplementary veg Origin Organic Certifier
Banana shallots France Ecocert
Aubergine Spain Caae
Cos Lettuce OR Red batavia lettuce France Ecocert

Enjoy!

The Locavore Team

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