Friday, June 26, 2009

Vegetarians in France

It seems that only about 2% of us are vegetarians in France but fortunately there is a growing movement towards organic (bio) products, including meat of course. The area where I live just south of Perpignan is known as the Roussillon Plain and is a major production area of fruit and vegetables, which form a large part of the acclaimed and healthy Mediterranean diet. There is also a large wholesale market (St Charles) at Perpignan, which receives products coming across the border from Spain and the southern Mediterranean for distribution all over France.

If you eat fish, there is an enormous supply, and I have a fish market a hundred yards from my front door at the port where I live.

The bio alternative is attracting more and more producers, and their numbers have doubled in just one year - from around 40 to 80 - in Roussillon. There are numerous local producer and organic markets and organic shops, selling everything from vegetables, cheeze, fruit, organic wines, and cosmetics, soaps and cleaning products. Most of the supermarkets are now including a growing organic section. Genuine organic products carry the official French white-on-green 'AB' certification label.

There is a regional guide to organic producers and sales outlets, including markets, available from local tourist offices. For more about organic wines you should consult my friend and wine expert Jonathan Healey's site