Oh, What a Vacation!

We’re back from vacation, and those walks on the beach with my family were priceless — building memories that will last a lifetime. And this year, we’ll all remember the eating adventures as well!

When we arrived, we went directly to the local co-op I’d found online. After a bit of hunting we located the address, but were totally disappointed to find out that it was now a nail salon. But on this adventure, one of the things I’ve learned is not to give up. So we all piled out of the car and asked around in hopes that it had merely moved (and not totally closed). Indeed that was the case and it was only a few blocks away.

I’m so glad we didn’t give up because this co-op is a real gem! The store was well stocked with staple items and the fresh fruits and vegetables were seasonal and locally grown. The employees were so well informed, in fact they personally knew most of the farmers whose produce they carry. That first day, we loaded up with so much great organic food that we spent most of the week eating-in.

As I mentioned in my last post, this retreat is a tradition for us and so is a special meal at the beginning of the week and the end of the week at the water front cafe the property. We skipped our beginning meal because we had called ahead and the food services manager had told us that they didn’t offer any organic meals, but I insisted that the family go there for the traditional end of the week celebration. Once we arrived I asked our waiter if there were any options on the menu that were 100% organic. I always do this, even when I know there is no chance. I feel that just by asking, I’m getting the message out that customers want organic to be available. Our waiter graciously offered to check with the chef and came back a few minutes later with my answer – the chef would be happy to combine the organic ingredient that he had on hand to create a special 100% organic meal for me! He also sent word that he would do special shopping for me for organic foods so we could eat there the rest of the week.  If it hadn’t been for the wonderful organic food we’d purchased at the co-op, I would have been crushed that we hadn’t been eating at the waterfront cafe all week.

Time and again we’ve found that if a restaurant or cafe as some organic ingredients on hand the chef is thrilled to make a special organic meal for our table. We now call ahead to try to make arrangements and we always try to get through to the chef. The food services manager will often say no, but the chef will usually make an extra special meal because I’ve shown that I’m concerned about the quality of the food I eat.

So the moral of this vacation story – don’t take no for an answer, ask the chef directly, and go to your favorite spot at the beginning of your vacation because even if it’s not known to be organic, if you ask for organic food, you might just get it!

Published on: August 15, 2006
About the Author
Photo of Alan Greene MD
Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.
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