While most of the world is content to talk the talk, constantly mulling the pros and cons of genetically modified foods, Denmark is walking the walk — and gearing up to be, within the next five years, the world’s first country with an all-organic agricultural sector. But even ahead of this milestone, organic has already become a way of life in Denmark; Not just farmers, but rather supermarkets, restaurants, and even hair salons are getting in on the game and already stocking their shelves solely with organic goods.
It might be on account of Copenhagen’s relatively modest size, or its airy urban layout, but it appears that every organic thing on God’s green earth has already found its place in the city’s boutiques and department stores, in every display window and just beyond every Hobbit-sized door. On weekends, all-organic farmers’ markets infuse the city with bold colors and enticing smells.
Nørrebro boasts the best service and the most appealing crowds, as there’s nothing better for body and soul than flirting in a street market. Around the market itself, there are plenty of options for the “økohispter” crowd, (which take sits name from a mashup of the Danish words for “organic” and “hipster”) — cafe sand delis filled with products that would feel right at home in Ikea’s canned good section; bakeries — (a word to the wise: Emmerys' bread is to die for) — and restaurants like BioMio and Geranium, with its two shining Michelin stars.
It couldn’t be simpler to usher the organic lifestyle into your home, thanks to two delivery services that are extremely efficient and increasingly ubiquitous.One of them, “Aarstiderne” home delivers a weekly basket of 100% organic and seasonal products, including everything from fruits to vegetables to meats to dairy. The service proved so popular that its creators also opened a restaurant and started an outdoor market.
Another good idea, not entirely cutting-edge but extremely on-point, is the Københavns Fødevarefællesskab, also known by its slightly less of a mouthful acronym, KBHFF, a biodynamic cooperative. In order to partake of the offerings, consumers have to join the coop and commit putting in at least three hours of work per month, which can be anything from from tending the gardens to harvesting or transporting the produce. Even the industrial supermarket chains have embraced organics, with most of them launching their own “bio”lines that include everything from junk foods — sugary drinks, cookies, chocolates — to cleaning products. (Buyer beware: Not everything on the shelves of every Danish supermarket is 100% organic yet. Some products’ so-called “bio-factor” may vary from a modest 30% to the whole 100% shebang. But still, anything grown in Danish is strictly monitored, as the country is a stickler when it comes to the use of pesticides — a practice that’s slated to be completely banned by 2020). While the prices are still salty (it's Scandinavia, after all) every Tuesday is sales day, with 25% discounts on everything. Follow the example, Whole Foods!