For those of us who choose to live an organic lifestyle at home, by eating mainly organically produced food, and using organic products in our home and for work, this choice is a lifestyle choice, which we want to continue wherever we are, including when we travel abroad either for holidays or business.
Continuing the organic lifestyle abroad can be difficult, particularly in a country where you do not speak the native language, and guides aren’t readily available. However, with a little pre-trip research, finding organic food and products abroad can be an easy and enjoyable part of the trip, and it can lead to a greater knowledge of the food system, and agricultural practices worldwide. And it can lead to friendships and contacts within the ever-growing organic network worldwide!
Researching Organic Food Producers and Outlets
Using the Internet is the easiest and quickest way to find organic food producers and retailers in a Country or City that you may be about to visit. Recently an organic bed and breakfast in Rome was found and booked completely through the Internet before a trip there by this writer.
Using any Internet search engine, type the keywords ‘organic’ and the name of the Country or City or even region that you are shortly to visit, and see what comes up. Many food producers and retailers now have websites to advertise their goods or services, or at least there will be links to them. Other providers of organic goods and services, like bed and breakfasts ‘B&B’s or hotels or organic spa retreats may well come up in an Internet search, and these can also be great resources as well.
Magazines and Guidebooks
If you have enough time before your trip, try to find any English language guidebooks or magazines that give further information about the place you will visit. Most guidebooks list food shops and restaurants, as well as places to stay, and with the International interest in all things organic, most guidebooks will list organic within this wider list.
There are many magazines and journals now that cater exclusively to the world of organic goods and services, and they generally include worldwide contacts. It pays for foreign producers and retailers of organic goods to advertise in British journals, as the tourist market is such a good market for them. Many will speak English, have a website in English, and be able to respond to emails in English, if there are any queries about their products or services before a trip is undertaken. Most producers and retailers will be able to find any special products or types of organic food, if in season, on request, given enough time before a trip.
If there are special food products needed for a certain diet, it might be advisable to take enough supplies for the trip, in case they are not available abroad. It is important in this case to also check with any travel companies or airlines whether certain foods can be taken into certain Countries.
Friends and Contacts: The Organic Network
The best source of information about a place is friends and neighbours who might have been to a certain Country or region, and might know about the organic food options there. Ask around, and use the local organic network.