Pennsif’s Progress #570 – I am how I buy – my quest for organics

Whenever and wherever possible we eat organic food.

A lot of it we can grow, but alas some of it we can’t.

What we can’t grow we have to buy.

There lies a problem and a dilemma. We live in a very rural part of Wales. Our nearest large towns are over an hour away by car. So our shopping choices are limited.

Especially for organic products.

There are a couple of small independent organic stocking shops in the area. But they are very expensive, have a small range and require the consumption of at least 6 litres of petrol to get there and back.

I chose organic both for health and for environmental reasons. So burning a lot of fossil fuel to obtain organic food seems rather nonsensical.

There is a local food bulk buying group that buys from Suma (a large national ethical food co-operative) that we participate in but it only orders every two months and there are other restrictions with it as well.

So we have reluctantly defaulted to online shopping for a number of organic products. We have dabbled with various online eco-store type sites but with heavy delivery charges the costs have been prohibitive.

The only easy-to-use and easy-on-the-wallet online source we have found for our organic needs has been Amazon.

But this grates badly with my purchasing ethics. Amazon is super efficient at what it does in terms of ecommerce mechanics – but that is where my admiration ends.

So I have constantly been on the look-out for new online sources.

Now I think I may have found one – PremCrest Ltd based in Bradford in the north of England. They are wholesalers of ethical and organic products. They sell in bulk so that helps bring the prices down considerably. And I have managed to sign up for an account.

I cannot find much about the company other than basic details of their directors and their recent financial accounts through a company checking service, but they do have an Ethics and Environment Policy :


That is rather run of the mill though – with no real mention of fair trade with suppliers etc. I suspect I would find something not too dissimilar if I searched on the Amazon site.

I would love to buy from local, independent, family-run type shops. As long as it doesn’t cost me too many arms and too many legs. Organic products are all at a premium as it is.

But the independent shops will buy from somewhere – so you can never be sure.

The only safe bet would be to buy from producers directly.  I did have a project called “Eat Who You Know“.

That was fun. More of that in another post…

For now I will try an order from PremCrest. Their prices are a good 40%+ cheaper than the nearest organic shops, and they tackle Amazon’s Subscribe & Save bulk prices head-on.

Maybe if I buy in bulk from PremCrest I can share round with other local organic eaters. Payment with steem or SBD would be cool. But alas the venn diagrams of organic eaters and active steemians don’t overlap round here.

More on PremCrest as the order unravels…


Pennsif’s Progress #580 – A trip to a big city – Swansea

Happily ensconced in my little bit of Welsh mountainside, and with online ordering at my fingertips, I rarely have need to venture into a big city.

Yesterday we made a journey to Wales’ second biggest city – Swansea.

Our middle daughter starts at university there in September so we went on a daytrip to check out her accommodation.

I am not a keen driver, particularly when heading towards busy places, but despite the malevolent efforts of our wonky sat-nav, we got there well on time and found an easy car-parking spot close to our destination.

As soon as I got out of the car city began to hit me. Constant noise, never ending cars, so many people, so much diversity… and the heat.

I knew of the urban heat island effect but I hadn’t been in a bit city for a long, long time and summer exacerbates the effect. All that hot air, all those warm gases have got to go somewhere.

We checked out the accommodation – much better than I envisaged.

We found a place to eat – more choice than needed, reasonably priced, quality pretty good, portions way too big for my liking. I had a mushroom and leek filled pitta, with salad and a bucket load of chips. It could have feed me for three days.

Then the coin had to be tossed – art gallery or shopping. [Primark]( won.

I’ve never been in a Primark store before. Maybe I won’t ever have to again. Hoping.

A red leather sofa was provided for dads. It was crowded.

Plastic done. Latte to finish. Even with soya milk.

More city trips await. Our eldest daughter starts at Bristol University in September too. Crossing the border soon.