Lately, there have been more and more articles regarding the food we eat. More and more case studies pointing at the way foods are processed and the amount of substances that are injected in them in order to stimulate the crops growth. More and more videos showing how harmful are all the stabilizers and synthesizers used. More and more warnings about the way these substances are hidden behind unclear and not understandable names. An old Romanian proverb says “there can be no smoke without fire”.
Under a nicely carved mask called “EU standards”, the compliance or noncompliance of the products doesn`t have much to do with the health of the population but with the “health” of the entire food industry and the big manufacturers. I can hardly believe that the fresh raw cow milk is “non compliant” because it has germs but the milk which passes through an entire system of pipes washed with special detergents is “compliant”.
As a child, I was used to eat the vegetables brought by the peasants at the market and the diary from the countryside. The products’ freshness criteria were quite straight-forward. Apples used to have worms and milk turned sour in few days. There were only hen eggs and chocolate eggs. Nowadays, I heard there are eggs which are made in China. Made! By humans!
We eat without having a clue what we ingest. We die and we don`t know why. We live in an era where a laptop lasts six months and a bottle of milk a year.
“Civilized” countries regulations have become a standard for us. In Romania, very often, the reference to a civilized society has a positive meaning by default. But, is that so ? The so called ” civilization” does not come bundled with the industrialization and the implementation of different types of standards? The shiny “civilization package” often comes with a list of chemical ingredients hard to pronounce.
Fortunately, Romania is a country a bit “left behind”, “not mature enough”, therefore authentic and natural products are very present. There are still open air markets where the peasantry comes to sell its hand-made products. Our grandparents still grow cows for their natural and raw fresh milk. There are still peasants that sell dairy products, fruits and vegetables in front of their yard and beekeepers that sell natural honey.
Although I left Romania two years ago, I`ve been trying to find out about this kind of places. My list of alternatives where you can still buy natural and healthy products is the fruit of word of mouth and my research on the web.
Cutia Țăranului / “The Peasant`s Box” is an amazing idea. The team behind this business model wanted to refresh and strengthen the relationship between traditional producers and modern consumers. An alternative to the supermarkets and their products with an unknown provenance. An invitation to a healthy and natural diet.
How does it work? You access the website http://cutiataranului.ro/blog/ and follow the instructions. The principle is simple: you have to subscribe to a box with a fixed price and then a grateful peasant (whose box you have chosen) will deliver the box on a weekly basis. The content of the box varies upon the chosen products and upon seasons, but the price is always the same.
The volatile markets – this kind of markets is usually found in most of the cities in Romania.
The naturist stores (such as Plafar) – can be found almost everywhere in Romania. They have incredibly low prices and all kind of natural and organic products: all sorts of seeds & oils, cereals, medicinal plants, vitamins, diet supplements, cosmetic products etc. All you need to do is a little bit of research about the respective products and their different properties.
PlatFerma or “The Platform Of The Romanian Farmers” gathers both gourmets and farmers. It is an information platform about the healthy food in Romania and the farmers who produce it. A library of Romanian products both fresh and well preserved. You can find a Farm Map – in order to find the closest farm to you and, at the same time, each farm has its own Farmer Portrait – for more information regarding the products.
You can find more information on their official website, but it is only in Romanian.