With a vast territory endowed with rich soil, it is no wonder that the French often prefer to buy nationally grown produce. In fact, France is the only country in Europe which could be entirely self-sufficient in its food production. However, there are even more reasons to buy regional products in France.
There is no question that eating locally and in season has myriad benefits for our own health and the health of the planet. First of all, from a purely hedonistic point-of-view, local and seasonal produce tastes better and there’s less risk for contamination. From a social and economic standpoint, eating locally fosters community ties and supports the local economy. Lastly, and perhaps of paramount importance, eating in season considerably reduces negative environmental effects that result from importing and shipping foreign goods. Whatever your reason for buying local seasonal produce, you can feel good about your decision.
Visiting the Parisian markets can be an enjoyable experience but for those who work 9-5, you may be lacking in time and energy to visit the markets, especially if you don’t feel like braving the weekend crowds. One fuss-free way to eat in season (and locally) is to purchase pre-arranged baskets from local collectives. There are a surprising number of options both in Paris and the provinces. With so many convenient options, from the budget conscious to the deluxe, there’s really no excuse not to pick up one of these balanced baskets of fruits and veggies. Your body and your conscience will thank you.
Here are some of your best options:
Tous Primeurs : Local seasonal fruits and vegetables with more than 60 pick-up locations within the Ile-de-France. Organic produce baskets available starting at 10.95€. You can even customize your own basket.
Le Campanier : All organic produce baskets available to pick up at more than 240 locations within the Ile-de-France. Note: Closed August 1st to September 1st.
Bio-Culture : Vegetable, fruit and mixed baskets available as well as eggs and other sundries. Free delivery on purchases of 48€ or more, pick-up available in more than 40 locations in and around Paris.
Les Paniers Bio du Val de Loire : For dedicated locavores this collective requires an annual membership. Worry not, arrangements can be made for when you are out of town. Approximately 200 pick-up locations available in Ile-de-France and the Loire Valley.
Ze Blue Box : Specializing in produce, cheeses, meats, oysters and condiments. Available to pick-up available at 6 locations in Paris, delivery 7€ and free delivery available on Fridays. User friendly website also available in English.
For a more general overview, check out Mon Panier Bio  which lists and compares all of the different providers in France.