Eat FRESH review
Eat Fresh sources organic vegetables and fruit from over a dozen farms in the New Territories, that are certified organic by the Hong Kong Organic Resource Center Certification Ltd. (HKORC-Cert), and accredited by IFOAM (International Federation for Organic Agriculture Movements).One farmer in particular, Mr Yung, with farms in HK and Yunnan, was a co-founder of the first Organic Association in HK 20 years ago, certified by USDA and the Canadian Organic Association as well as the above bodies. The large number of farms in their remit means they are able to offer an extensive range of produce relative to their competitors, and an a la carte service as well as the mixed ("surprise") box. In addition, the collaboration with the Yunnan farm means Eat FRESH can supplement almost everything not in season in HK, which can sometimes be very little due to the poor weather conditions.
Weekly subscriptions are possible, which can your reduce your overall cost if you sign up over a longer period time. Based on October 2015 pricing, 6 deliveries of the 3.5kg bag cost $1950, so $325 a pop. Increase the amount to 25 deliveries and the individual cost falls to $286. 6kg is the largest bag, which works out at $13,550 for 25 deliveries,so $542 a pop. There is also a juicing bag and toddler's bag available with recipes attached. The order process is online and straightforward with the added bonus of additional groceries available, which are mainly organic, natural or ethically produced. Personally I tend to add on the organic eggs and coconut sugar, which are pretty good value. They also stock the delicious and award winning Bees Nest honey. Recipe ideas for their produce are also available online. Delivery is twice weekly throughout Hong Kong and the New Territories or you can pick up from the Eat Fresh office in Aberdeen or at i-detox or Spice Box Organics in Sai Ying Pun.
Pictured above is the 6kg bag based on seasonal produce available in October 2015. This is an ideal amount for a family of 4 who eats at home a lot. The apples in season are sensational, and quite superior to many I have bought in HK. Best raw, we also baked a few with dried fruit, butter and cinnamon sugar... I normally tend to peel cucumbers to remove any pesticides lurking in the skin, but since these are organic, we left the skin on for added fibre, plus they are tasty and crunchy. The carrots also taste like proper carrots and delicious in this raw salad with a peanut sauce.
Make sure you eat your herbs first, as being organic and free of sprays, they tend to go limp very quickly. Then attack any leaves in the delivery, as these will be next to perish, soaking them in salt or a drop of vinegar if you plan to eat them raw. This will kill off any bugs which are more likely to survive in organic crops. Remember that there are many veggies than can be blanched and frozen, in the event that you think you will not have time to cook everything. Blanching them helps retain their colour and stops the enzymatic activity responsible for decay. Each veggie requires a different blanching time, which you find here. After blanching, you need to plunge them in cold water to halt the cooking process. Drain them well and freeze. If you are looking for green beans for a Thanksgiving casserole, here is your chance to freeze these wonderful organic ones. Or steam them and chuck them in a salad Nicoise, as I just did for lunch.
Not pictured in the delivery above, but worth pointing out is the pumpkin available a la carte. This was quite possibly the ugliest but best and sweetest pumpkin I have ever eaten. We washed it, sliced it in half and scooped out the seeds before slicing it into wedges, skin on, drizzling it with olive oil and roasting it for around 30 minutes until caramelised and tender. It was so sweet that you might have thought I added sugar. My whole family devoured it, with skin on, like candy! Also, for Hallowe'en you could cut teeth shapes into the wedges... I bought a similar looking pumpkin from the wet market yesterday in order to do this, but it was so bitter it was practically inedible. I therefore thoroughly recommend you add the EatFRESH organic pumpkin to your cart!
Also available at Eat FRESH are organic roselles, otherwise known as hibiscus, perfect for making tea, syrups or jams. We also enjoyed their okra and sweet potato in a coconut curry. We are looking forward to trying their courgettes in some baking such as this zucchini bread recipe listed on the Eat FRESH website.
Organic fruit is typically fairly light relative to veggies in the delivery services across Hong Kong. As well as the aforementioned amazing apples, Eat FRESH has dragon fruit, Thai papaya and Thai pineapple.
As a household, we try to eat organic a lot of the time, but sometimes find it prohibitively expensive or unavailable. We therefore try to avoid the produce on the dirty dozen list, those known to contain the most amount of pesticides. This year, these are apples, peaches, nectarines, strawberries, grapes, celery, spinach, sweet bell peppers, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, imported snap peas and potatoes. It is therefore pleasing to find many of the above available organically at EatFRESH.
Overall, we find shopping at Eat FRESH to be a positive experience with competitively priced produce and a great variety versus competitors. The opportunity to add on items from the a la carte menu increases the flexibility and we will definitely be a returning customer!