The Grand Daddy of the Brighton food scene, Infinity Foods has been supplying ethically sourced vegetarian and vegan foods since 1971. A collective that gives a proportion of their profits to charity, Infinity has both a large store with an in-store bakery, operating since 1976, as well as a café, both situated in the North Laine. The bakery offers a large selection of vegan and gluten-free options – the vegan sausage rolls are particularly moreish. There are daily speciality breads and goodies. Head on over to the café and you’ll find a wide range of tempting treats with plenty of outdoor seating. And if you’ve ever thought, “where can I get a vegan Chelsea bun the size of my head?” well, now you know.
This week the nation will be celebrating Wake Up to Organic, so we took the opportunity to chat with Infinity Foods, and find out their stance on Organic food.
Why are you taking part in Wake Up to Organic?
We’ve taken part in Wake Up To Organic every year since it was launched and it's always a great success for us. We love having the time to talk to our customers about organic, what it means to us, how it makes us happy and why we believe it’s important.
It’s a real opportunity to share the benefits of going organic and how making simple changes can have a massive impact on the world around us plus it’s a really great way to start the day instore and see so many happy smiling faces!
Why do you feel organic food is so important?
For me choosing organic is about having a wider and broader view of the way we work with nature, it’s a simple shortcut to so many benefits and reassurance that the food has been grown and produced in a way that’s better for our health, for the animals and for the planet.
When food is certified organic it means there are no artificial additives, preservatives or GM ingredients so it’s really just food as it should be. And that makes me happy!
Is it really more expensive to eat organic?
Sometimes organic food is more expensive than non-organic but if you look on the shelves you might be surprised to see very little difference in the price everyday items. Ideally organic wouldn’t be more expensive but part of the challenge comparing the two is that the true cost of our food isn’t always shown in the price we pay at the till. That’s where the bigger picture comes in on how that food is made may have cost us other ways than the price – when you pay a little more for organic it’s for the investment organic farmers and producers have made in protecting the environment and improving animal welfare.
It is becoming easier to buy organic and with more producers choosing the source organic ingredients basic supply and demand should have an impact in the short to medium term to close any gaps that exist.
What tips can you give to someone looking to introduce more organic products to their weekly food shop?
Start with the basics, things you buy all the time and eat and drink the most of like milk and vegetables – the price difference won’t be too great and if you need to prioritise make sure you buy fruit and vegetables that are known to have the highest levels of pesticides when bought conventionally like apples, pears, grapes, and green veggies like kale and spinach. If you eat meat, try to buy less and you can use less in your recipes by switching with beans, lentils and peas - you can create some really tasty dishes by mixing things up like this. And of course as we’re talking all things breakfast for Wake Up To Organic one easy to way is to start switching your breakfast to organic, there are lots of tasty recipes to try here and store cupboard staples like oats are simple to buy and will last a family a good amount of time, either as porridge or overnight oats or a homemade granola.
What are some of your favourite new organic products?
I am very excited to see the return of Spanish Tiger Nuts to the UK shelves after a long absence. These nutritious tubers are naturally sweet and are a good source of Vitamin E and C. They are ideal for adding to Breakfast smoothies and porridge.
What other steps are you taking to reduce your carbon footprint?
We are always on the lookout for more locally grown produce. Our UK grown Quinoa supplier is the aptly named British Quinoa Company. Farmer Stephen Jones has worked hard over the last few years and has increased his annual yield of high-quality organic quinoa considerably. Initial results were poor but after trying different varieties that are more suited to the British climate they have honed their growing skills and now consider themselves experts.