Hundred Percent Romanian
Lately there have been more and more articles regarding the food we eat. Several case studies pointing at the way foods are processed and the amount of substances that are injected in them in order to stimulate crops growth. More and more videos showing how harmful are all the stabilizers and synthesizers used. Many warnings about the way these substances are hidden behind unclear and not easily 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 does not have much to do with the health of the population. But a lot more to do with the “health” of the entire food industry and that of its 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”.
About the food we eat
As a child, I was used to eat vegetables bought from peasants at the market and dairy from the countryside. These products’ freshness and quality standards 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. In the era we currently live in 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 really 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.
Authentic Romanian products
Fortunately, Romania is a country a bit “left behind”, “not mature enough”. Therefore authentic and natural products are still very present in people’s lives. There are still open air markets where the peasantry comes to sell hand-made crafted 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 who sell natural honey.
Although I left Romania for a while some time 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. This is 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 it to your address 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
You can find this kind of markets in most of the cities in Romania.
The naturist stores (such as Plafar)
You can find them almost everywhere in Romania also. They have incredibly low prices and several 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 different products, seeds and plants 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 that connects the farmers who produce it with people interested in buying it. A sort of library full of Romanian products both fresh and well preserved. The Farm Map enables you to find the closest farm to you. Also, each farm has its own Farmer Portrait – to provide more information regarding the products.
You can learn more about this initiative on their official website. But it is only in Romanian.