Iku’s wholefood is organic, macrobiotic, gluten free, biodynamic, vegan – and delicious. There are lots of tofu and soya treats, from curry to cake, but the sago and black rice puddings were amazing – I’m still dreaming about them.
There’s also a chain of Macro Wholefoods supermarkets, which sell fresh organic food along with grocery and personal provisions, which came in handy when I needed to stock up on rice milk for my daily museli. I also came across The Peasants Feast organic restaurant in Newtown, which offered tasty dishes free-from artificial additives, pesticides, hydrogenated fats and over-use of salt and sugar. I also noticed that a huge amount of ‘regular’ pizzerias offer gluten and wheat-free pizza bases. Local restaurant owners take note – these eateries were always packed, so there’s obviously a big demand for menu choices like these.
I’d been keen to hunt down Oz-made A’kin beauty and hair products, though when I found them, they weren’t any cheaper than they would be here at home. But, as hoped, I also came across some Aussie brands I’d never heard of before, including luxury skincare brand MV Organic (which I’ve since found that you can buy online in the UK and Ireland) and Bod, an Aussie-made skin, body and baby-care range that’s free from nasties.
I also came across Balance water, the world’s first bottled water containing flower essences. It’s not flavoured, so you don’t even know you’re drinking it and it’s totally natural and organic. The different essences can help with different problems, from boosting energy and concentration to helping you sleep. There’s even a special Balance water for women, to help stressed Sheilas deal with the daily pressure of life. The great thing is that you can get Balance water everywhere, including branches of Woolworths and NewsLink newsagents – they’re not just found in specialist health food shops.
They take their health food and eco products seriously Down Under – they’re not just the preserve of ‘crank’ health food shops. The same can’t be said for the UK and Ireland just yet – we seriously need more healthy (including gluten and wheat-free) and organic options in restaurants, plus more organic beauty products in supermarkets.
Across Sydney there are numerous shops specialising in selling British and American sweets, including the fabulously-named Sugarfix. What I need is someone to set up an Oz shop here in Belfast, or perhaps a chain of them across the UK, selling all the fab products I found there. Kylie, are you listening?