Oh, but who cares about organic now? Especially now you can get it at Iceland. Such is my mindset, anyway, as I browse through all the bio-dynamic produce at Here, the health-food store in the Chelsea Farmers’ Market. The biodynamic movement, as Troy, the shop’s handsome American founder tells me, predates the organic movement by about 20 years, and involves harvesting crops, slaughtering livestock and so forth according to the cosmic rhythms of the earth.
For the life of me I cannot see how the waxing and waning of the moon can affect the taste of food and aloe vera, but buoyed by Troy’s good looks and fabulous skin, I end up buying at least £60 worth of bio-dynamic Tamworth pork sausages, lamb noisettes, fillet steak and carrots, all bearing the Bio Dynamic Demeter label. It will join the £150 worth of produce I’ve ordered from Swaddles, an organic free-range farm shop in Somerset that we’ve been using for a year or so. I do hope that bio-dynamically raised animals get a little anaesthetic and a stroke before they are slaughtered because for that price, they really ought to.
On the way home I pop into Traid, an ethical second-hand clothes shop on Westbourne Park Road… and pop straight out. Handbags made from recycled orange-juice cartons and skirts made from recycled Puma trainers look marvellously kooky on people like Summer Phoenix and those cool girls from Cheap Date magazine, but on a mother aged 44 such as myself they just look clinically insane.
It’s the end of half term and the nanny, the children and I are all driving back from our little cottage in Wiltshire – in separate cars because I don’t want my precious Prius to get mucked up by sweet papers and Beanos and pretzel crumbs… Slowly, slowly, I think I’m getting the hang of things. Indeed, as I drive past Stonehenge, eating an organic carrot,
wearing my red paisley People Tree dress and listening to a programme about intensive cattle farming on Radio 4, I begin to feel really quite smug. Two weeks? I can do this for the rest of my life. On the way home, I stop in at The Organic Pharmacy on the King’s Road to replace all the stuff I’ve just thrown out from both my bathroom cabinets.
Actually that’s a lie, I’ve just put it all to one side. It feels like such a waste chucking stuff out which is so prettily packaged. And besides, cosmetics don’t really count, do they? Do they ever. Margo Marrone, the pharmacy’s founder, tells me that the eco-looking cleanser and moisturiser I’ve been using for the past five years is absolutely laced with parabens (the endocrine disruptors associated with breast cancer). And so is everything else in my bathroom cabinet. Uh-oh, supermarket-sweep time once again. I stagger out with everything from mascara to tampons, all clearly labelled 100 per cent organic. Gosh, when I think of all those proven carcinogens I’ve been slathering over my precious babies’ bodies all this time…
Before going out to the theatre, I wash my face with my new organic carrot scrub and spray it with my new organic plant-extract water. In the middle of the second act, my friend Nicola, who is sitting next to me, loudly announces that my face smells of wee.
Boo-hoo. The man came to collect my hybrid car. That’s the first bummer. The second is that the little red paisley dress from People Tree only really works if I wear it with this one specific cardie which, for all I know, could have been made in an Indian sweatshop by a child not much bigger than my six-year-old. The third is that Yvonne, our cleaning lady in the country, has just called to say the dog from next door has been at my compost heap.
Wearing nothing remotely fair trade, secondhand, hemp-based or bio-dynamic, I am now sitting in the red bar at the Leicester Square Odeon, having a cocktail before the premiere of Roland Emmerich’s eco-disaster blockbuster The Day After Tomorrow. Sitting at the next-door table are the film’s star, Jake Gyllenhaal, his sister Maggie and his girlfriend Kirsten Dunst, all of whom, I notice rather primly, are puffing away on rollies. We have been invited here by my new best friend, Dan Morrell, founder of a company called Future Forests. An extremely personable, somewhat spivvy figure of a man (who used to be in the record business), Morrell proudly explains how The Day After Tomorrow is the second “carbon neutral” film ever made (the first being Bertolucci’s The Dreamers). By this he means that Emmerich has paid him to plant a forest somewhere to compensate for all the CO’ emissions that were generated in the making of his film. Morrell is brilliant at selling trees to celebrities. Leo DiCaprio, for example, has four forests. Brad Pitt has one in Bhutan. Coldplay have one in India and Jake Gyllenhaal has one in Mozambique. There are plenty of other carbon-neutral celebrities, too. Dido, Neneh Cherry, Damien Hirst, the Foo Fighters… Now, would I, Morrell wonders, like to join the gang, and become a carbon-neutral citizen, too? He’ll do it for, “Oooh, let’s think now, how does £150 a year sound to you?”