Sustaining tradition: Orígens 99.9%


One of our favourite restaurants here in Barcelona is Orígens 99.9%. The food is so delicious and the interiors look so healthy that I just assumed it was all organic, or rather 99.9% of it. Convinced that it would be my next post for Treehugger I arranged a meeting with the manager of my local branch to hear the full story about Orígens since they don’t have a web site (yet?).The woman didn’t beat around the bush and in a few sentences crossed out all the pluses I had Orígens down for. She insisted on it not being organic so I thought to myself well local is an equally green point, but again I was told very honestly that the food itself comes from all over the place. More and more disillusioned I kept her talking because I felt there had to be something worth recommending to you guys and here it is:
Orígens was founded three years ago by two people who wanted to offer healthy fast-food to everybody at any time of the day. So what is the 99.9%? Well, it’s 99.9% Catalonian; food, gastronomy, culture, taste,…leaving 0.1% for Coca cola and other non-catalonian brands that we don’t seem to be able to do without. They certainly did their research and dug up some old traditional recipes and mixed them with modern ones. Of course I asked Orígens why they don’t use organic or locally produced food and they said they would if they could. Too expensive and too unreliable for a restaurant that scale was the excuse. However they managed to offer a few organic products: some wines, and the chicken and pig meat are organic.
Therefore, when you’re next hungry or peckish in Barcelona, give yourself a real Catalonian treat. Try out one of their restaurants or visit their in-house deli and take some home.

So, I’m still not sure whether keeping traditions alive is treehuggerish enough. It seems like gastronomy is one sustainable way to preserve one’s cultural community. But, how green do things have to be in order to be classified as eco-friendly? What do you think?

Orígens 99.9%:
C/ Enric Granados 9, Barcelona – tel/fax: 0034 93 453 11 20
C/ Vidrieria 6-8, Barcelona – tel/fax: 0034 93 310 75 31