What is the real cost of organic…?

What is the real cost of organic…???

As humans, we feel we “need” lots of stuff – money, possessions, status….In truth, however, we have very few basic needs, but one of the most driving of these is hunger. Sadly, we have made the way we go about meeting this need far more complicated than it really needs to be – and our bodies are suffering as a result. So much of the food available to us today is so processed, refined and modified that it bears little, if any, resemblance to its natural origins. Our digestive systems, however, haven’t changed much from the earliest days of our first ancestors. Our bodies are designed to digest and process food in as close to its natural state as possible. The fact that we don’t eat enough food in this natural state is costing us, collectively, millions in medical bills. So, when it comes to eating the way we should, what is the real cost of organic food?

Organic food is more expensive than conventionally produced food. At least on the surface. We may pay more for organic produce up front, but there are many “hidden” benefits that end up saving us in the long term.

Organic Food Is Cheaper Than Healthcare

A recent study conducted by Associate Professor Hettie Schönfeldt, research leader for the Biofortification Programme of the Institute of Food Nutrition and Well-being at the University of Pretoria, found that men consume up to 13 974 kilojoules a day, while women consume up to 11 978kJ a day. This is significantly more than the World Health Organisation’s recommended daily average of 8 700kJ. Professor Schönfeldt attributes this to the fact that we eat too much food that, while it may be cheaper, is nutritionally poor, with a high energy content that comes mainly from sugar. This has serious implications for our health – and our wallets.

Organic Food Is Cheaper Than Paying For Our Planet

Because no synthetic chemicals are used in organic food production, the practice poses no threat to our soil and underground water. In addition, because most organically grown food is distributed within a small radius of where it was produced, less energy is used for transportation. This means fewer carbon dioxide emissions. Organic food production also reduces soil erosion, thanks to more soil being covered with vegetation (not just crops). This stops wind and rain carrying away the very fertile topsoil.

Organic Food Is Cheaper Than Your Time

These days, with time being everyone’s most valuable commodity, hectic lifestyles mean we are driven by convenience and trying to save time where we can. Because not everyone lives close to a farmers’ market or organic food store, ordering organic food online is becoming more and more popular. This has many advantages – over and above the fact that you get delicious, fresh and healthy food delivered straight to your door, hassle free. When you order online, you save considerable time. No getting in your car, driving to the shops, standing in queues or paying for parking. And no impulse buying! We all know how easy it is to go into a shop with a list of four items, only to leave with a big trolley load! Buying organic food online means you save money because you only buy what you need. This means more time with your family to spend on the important things in life.

So, to save time, money, our health and our environment, why not start your organic journey today? Right now. At Ooooby, we’re all about making organic happen for you, which is why we have a range of produce box options to suit everyone’s budget, taste and family size. We also offer a wide variety of delicious add-on goodies to help keep things interesting. Visit our site now and dive in: www.ooooby.co.nz

3 Things to remember this festive season

Three Things To Remember This Festive Season

With the festive season in full swing, it is quite difficult to not get caught up in all of the festivities. We all begin to start scrambling around to ensure our FOMO levels are kept at a manageable rate.  As we try to unwind, we seem to get more and more stressed to ensure that everything is done on time, everything has been stocked up, all the right people will be able to make it and the list goes on. But is this really what the festive season is all about? Aren’t we supposed to be relaxing, with family and loved ones and enjoying a lovely meal as we reflect on the year that has been? And, I must really stress the point of relaxing because I don’t think many of us quite know how to do that. That is my idea of a perfect holiday, but everyone is different. With that being said, there are a few things you can try to keep in mind when attempting to enjoy festive season and ensuring that everyone has a good time.

Stock up on important things

Walking into the shops these days feels like a war zone, with explosions of colour and glitter around every corner tempting you to dive deep into your pockets and possibly spend money that you should rather have saved for the terror that is January.  It is so hard not to fall victim to their alluring colours with promises of sweet pleasures, and forget the real reason you actually needed to go to the shop in the first place. Before we know it, we have a trolley filled with the all the building blocks to build your very own chocolate factory.  Just focus on the important things, you would be surprised to see how much you save if you manage to limit yourself to only buying what you really need and walking right past items that you don’t.

It is only as crazy as you make it

The festive season tends to bring the inner child out of everyone. Question is, are they the happy baby or the temper tantrum baby? I think most of us would prefer to be the happy baby.  For us to be able to allow ourselves to be that happy child, first we have to learn to let go. As hard as that can be, it really is a case of just focusing on what really matters and not to think too much about things that don’t. We just have to try to stay calm and have faith that we have done all that can be done and it’s now just a case of enjoying the ride.  The more frantic your mind is when it is filled with thing that are out of your control, the more stress you put on yourself. As a result we tend to lose focus and moods tend to change towards the undesirable. Take a deep breath and stay calm.


A lot of people find this as being a case of ‘easier said than done.’  With all our demanding careers and commitments it’s hard to let the mind switch off and take in your surroundings.  Which is exactly what we should be challenging ourselves to do more of. Take a step back, take a deep breath, feel the breeze and simply just have a look at all the beauty that is nature that is all around us.  Take pictures of the happy moments and last but not least, try do something small to make someone else happy. Enjoy the festive season!

Join our team

We’re expanding our Auckland team – you keen?

New Ooooby Team Member wanted for Ooooby Auckland in 2020

Keen to join The Ooooby Crew? … make a difference by working for a social enterprise with a mission to make the food system local and sustainable, have a positive impact on the environment and on people’s lives….


We are looking for a fun loving and easy going, but hard working and somewhat a “Jack (or Jill) of all trades” person, who is able to troubleshoot and think on their feet quickly. Must be adaptable and flexible with regards to the role and requirements as well as timing (there will be the odd long day from time to time).

Strong communication skills and relationship building experience. Need to be able to make decisions on the go, as well as work quickly, efficiently and accurately. Good administrative capabilities and above average computer literacy – ideally also to be au fait with social media. Must be able and willing to oversee people and roll up their sleeves and muck in with the team when, and if needed. There is no job to big or too small, and no person is too good for any job on any given day – hairnet anyone?

The team member that will join the Ooooby Auckland crew will also need to fill their days, operate independently and work proactively during the slower operational times in order to help keep moving the business forward and bring some new innovative ideas to the table. There is plenty of scope to do this while having a laugh and keeping things light hearted and bringing your own ideas to the business.

Strong will and conviction in beliefs are important characteristics we are looking for, but so to is humility and willingness to consider the ideas, opinions and circumstances of others.

Ideally a health conscious, environmentally aware foodie or at least food enthusiast. Preferably a conscientious individual that understands the impacts of the food choices they make in a personal capacity. Most suitably with an interest in healthy eating, organic farming and sustainable living.

A friendly, family oriented peoples person. Being aligned with our company ethos – someone that truly wants to add value in what they are doing, will work tirelessly to ensure that people are happy and every situation needs to be approached with the aim of finding a win-win outcome.  If this, and what we stand for resonates with you, then you would probably be an awesome fit for Ooooby and we’d love to hear from you.

Job Requirements / Description:

Logistics, Customer Service & Marketing:

– Overseeing of weekly and ongoing operations.

– Managing and working with staff

– Logistics & supply chain management

– Product procurement and supplier relationships

– Customer relations and customer service 

– Laughing and helping bring laughter to the Ooooby hub.

– Involvement with online / social media management, marketing and sales

– online content generation (blog, newsletter, social media, product content)

-Compassion to others

Applications and CVs to:

auckland@ooooby.com / 022 5005 123

Make time for lunch!

Make Time For Lunch!

With all the holidays done and dusted (sad, we know), getting back into the swing of things can make you feel a little like you’re on a swing, that goes round and round and round. As life picks up again, with meetings, deadlines, work pressure, school runs, family activities, burst geysers and the like, finding time to make lunch, let alone even eating lunch, starts to seem like a rather daunting task.

For many of us, eating lunch has become a secondary activity. We chomp on sugary biscuits or lone carrot sticks in between typing, take bites of our sandwich whilst picking the kids up en route to our hundredth meeting of the day, and shovel handfuls of crisps as we check mails (and most likely read this blog post). We’re “multi-tasking”. What we’re actually doing, is lowering our overall productivity, making our desks (and our cars) dirty, and often eating things we shouldn’t, out of sheer desperation. Is this really what lunch has become? Isn’t there a better way?

We think there is, and it starts with making the time to eat. “There is no time!”, we hear you shout, but getting up, going somewhere (anywhere else), and just eating can take as little as 15 minutes. Now that sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? And it’s helluva good for you too. Here’s why:

  • Ever noticed how some of your best ideas occur to you when you’re in the shower or cleaning your teeth? By giving your brain a rest, it can think of different things and spark new ideas, boosting productivity and creativity. It also means you get back to your desk feeling ready to tackle the rest of the day.
  • Here at Ooooby, we love food, and we sure love eating it! Being away from your desk means you can eat more mindfully and focus on eating what’s in front of you, lowering the chance of overeating and helping you to feel more satisfied.
  • And get your bum out that chair! Work those muscles, even if it is just walking to the cafeteria.

Take the challenge! Get a group of your colleagues, even if it’s just two or three of you, to commit to having lunch together everyday. Put a standing appointment in your calendars, to step away from your desks everyday to eat lunch, even if it’s just for 15 minutes. And encourage each other to stick to this. Very soon it will become a habit, and a healthy one at that, and you’ll find yourselves sitting for a little longer, enjoying the food, enjoying the company, and feeling a little happier returning to your desk.

The “not so” humble asparagus

Legend has it that the Egyptians offered it up to their gods. The Romans used their fastest runners and chariots to transport it to the Alps for freezing, to store for special festivals. The Romans even had a saying, to do something “faster than you can cook asparagus”, suggesting they knew exactly how to cook this delicacy.

Although it has been harvested for thousands of years, and worshipped by ancient cultures, little is known about the asparagus plant, other than the fact that it makes certain bodily fluids a little, well, smelly. Nevertheless, we think it’s a vegetable worth getting to know. Here’s an introduction to the (not so) humble asparagus…

The asparagus is a perennial plant. This means it lives for more than two years, and takes a nap every year in the cooler months. In fact, it loves the cold, the frostier the better.

To grow asparagus, you plant the roots, called crowns (pretentious, much?) when the weather starts to warm. Once planted, don’t rush it, it needs 2-3 years before it’s ready to harvest. By then, it’s decided whether or not it likes you, and will continue to produce for the next 20-30 years.

The thickness of the stem tells us how old the plant is. In the first few years, asparagus stems are small, about the diameter of a pencil lead, and overtime, they grow to be thicker, about 1-2 centimetres in diameter.

Asparagus is quite a selfish plant, it doesn’t like sharing it’s space with any other plants or weeds, and so it’s important to plant it on it’s own, and to keep the area weed-free, so as not to upset your darling asparagus.

These days, asparagus is grown all over the world, and, interestingly, China is the biggest producer of asparagus. Asparagus is harvested in spring and early summer. In the Northern hemisphere, annual festivals, such as Asparafest (not a joke), celebrate the asparagus season and the start of spring, and you can enter the asparagus eating competition, in the hope of being named King or Queen of Asparagus. It’s aspara-tastic (again, not a joke).

Asparagus is harvested as young shoots or spears, cut soon after poking their heads above ground. Towards the end of the harvesting season, the spears are left to grow naturally, and they grow into small leafy ferns, about 1.5m high. This is important, as the older plants feed the root (or crown) for next year’s harvest. In Autumn, they grow bright red berries, that are, in fact, poisonous to humans. The fern then dies down during the cooler months, and starts all over again when it warms up.

So there you have it, the asparagus plant in a nutshell, from its colourful history as a royal vegetable to a modern-day chinese export. Hopefully knowing a little more about this veggie inspires you to cook it, well, “faster than you can cook asparagus”!

What makes organic onions expensive? (and why you should care)

So what’s the deal with organic onions?

They are 3.5 times more than conventional!!

Are they really worth it?

Most organic onions in NZ come from one farm in Hawkes Bay – Bostock, the same farming family that are famous for organic apples.

Instead of regularly spraying their fields with a herbicide like glyphosate to control weeds, they employ 200 people to hand weed their fields!

So I guess the question is…. is the negative impact to our health, soil, water and environment greater or less than 3.5 times the cost to farm organically and provide local employment?

If you have thoughts on the matter, let us know!

Local vs. Organic – What’s More Important?

You’re shopping and you see two similar products. One is hand crafted by a local artisan but uses non-organic ingredients. The other is big-brand organic or imported. Both cost about the same.

Which one do you choose?

For me personally it’s really important that my family eats healthy organic food. But is that more important than supporting local businesses and saving a ton of food miles?

Both sides make a case, but ultimately it depends on your values, the impact of your decisions and your personal circumstances. If you are using food as medicine to fight cancer, you will probably go ultra-clean, if you have a large hungry family to feed, that will impact your decision too. If you are an eco-warrior, the planet will be your top priority.

Fortunately, we don’t always have to choose.

Ooooby has plenty of choice from excellent local organic farmers and artisan producers in NZ

For example, Ooooby sells organic AND local Terrace Edge olive oil – who were recently featured on Country Calendar. It is to die for, really! An absolute delight for $30. Amazing taste, earth friendly, healthy and made by good local people…

Still, 30 bucks is 30 bucks. Our family goes through a TON of olive oil, and unlike olives, cash doesn’t grow on trees. We would like a high quality everyday drizzler too.

More affordable options:

  • Ceres organic olive oil imported from Spain
  • NZ local stuff, but conventional.

Which would you choose?