Hello Globetrotters and Wanderers,
Is eating healthier one of your new resolution ? After the end of the year, holidays excess, a lot of people decide to detox and eat healthy fresh food.
Well, today we are talking about
Where to buy organic food in Tokyo
What makes food organic ?
Organically raised food follows a set of prescribed practices that differ in a number of ways from industrialized agriculture.
Only farms that go through the certification process of their country or state can label their food organic.
Examples of some specific guidelines
No use of synthetic chemicals
No use of irradiation
No use of sewage sludge (yep, it gets used in other agriculture)
No genetically modified organisms (GMOs)
Raised on farmland that’s has been free of the above for three years
Detailed records of practices used, including the use of allowed, organic sprays or other application types
Periodic on-site inspections
Forbidden to use: growth hormones, antibiotics, genetically modified feed, or animal by-products in raising the livestock
Organic eggs are required to come from chickens that are both cage-free and free range
Organic food must be kept separate from non-organic food is both are raised on the same land or processed in the same facility
For producers to label processed food “organic” it must contain 95% organically grown ingredients; they can use the label “contains organic ingredients” as long as 70% of the ingredients are certified organic.
More infos on JAS website
Why eat organic & does it worth the higher price ?
There are many arguments to eat or not eat organic food. Here are 4 very good reasons to go for an organic diet:
1. Eating organic helps to reduce your body’s total toxic burden
2. Organic foods are by definition non-GMO
GMOs are plants and animals that have been created by combining DNA of different species in a way that could not occur in nature or by traditional cross-breeding. They comprise a large percentage of commercial soy, corn, beets, and alfalfa crops in the United States.
3. Organic farming is good for the earth
Organic farmers rely on crop rotation, companion planting, and animal manure in place of synthetic fertilizers, weed killers, and pesticides to control pests and maintain the quality and integrity of the soil.
Pollution from agriculture is the largest factor affecting the water quality of rivers and lakes. By supporting organice farmers you can help lessen the damage on the planet.
4. Organic crops are more nutritious
Organic foods are richer in nutrients and antioxidants and lower in heavy metals, especially cadmium, and pesticides.
Organic crops are more nutritious, and they won’t deplete your health by putting unwanted and unnecessary toxins in your body.
So, do the math! Buying non-organic is cheaper but les nutrients per quantity and a lot of unwanted substances.
How to recognize organic food in Japan?
Originally, when it was established in 2000, JAS covered only horticultural products such as fruit and vegetables, livestock feed and processed products of horticultural origin. In 2005 this has been extended to include livestock products such as animals, eggs and processed animal products such as cheese. This Standard does not currently cover apiculture (honey & bee products) or aquaculture. It also does not cover non-agricultural products such as textiles or health & beauty products. It does include the grading of lumber for import into Japan.
Operators certified by registered Japanese or overseas certifying bodies are able to attach the organic JAS logo to products that were produced or manufactured in accordance with relevant organic JAS Standards.
Where to buy good organic food in Tokyo ?
The phrase for ‘organic’ in Japanese is “yuuki Saibai.”
A catch-all phrase for foods grown without chemicals and/or pesticides is “Mu kachou.”
You can buy organic and health food produce from a variety of sources including direct from the farmer, supermarkets, speciality stores and even online.
Great place to buy fresh organic fruit and vegetables. You will buy seasonal and high quality AND support local agriculture.
UNU-Aoyama Farmers Market
Every Saturday and Sunday outside the United Nations University on Aoyama-dori, Farmer’s market with several stalls selling seasonal fruit and vegetables straight from the farm. You can also find great produce like honey, nuts and dried fruit, fresh juice and cut flowers at this market. Almost everything is certified organic with JAS logo.
5 Chome−53−70, Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0001
2 Sundays a month at the Ebisu Garden Palace
Organic Food in Japan– Supermarkets
In most of the big chain supermarkets you can find an organic section. Nowadays, even smaller and cheaper supermarkets are stocking a small range of organic produce. Here is a list of supermarkets with a decent range of options:
6-28-1 Minamikarasuyama, Setagaya
JA is short for Japan Agricultural Cooperatives; they are a great source of farm direct produce at a reasonable price. Only seasonal products so don’t expect to find a huge variety all year round.
National Azabu Supermarket
4-5-2 Minami-Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0047
National Azabu Supermarket has an impressive range of imported foods including many items which are difficult to find in Tokyo. Organic items include dairy, nuts and dried fruit, legumes, snack food, coffee and tea. The bigger supermarket chains which you find at the larger train stations, such as Precce or Seijo Ishi, will often have an organic section.
9−7−4 Tokyo Midtown, Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0052
Seijo Ishii Roppongi Hills
6-2-31 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0032
Seijo Ishii Nishiazabu
4 Chome-15-2 Nishiazabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0031
Health Food Store Options
Health food stores, just like organic food, are gaining popularity here—it is getting quite a bit easier to find healthy food in Japan. That said, the stores are still very much behind the convenience experienced elsewhere. While health foods shops are generally not cheap in Japan, they are a good place to buy eggs, dairy, juices, drinks, oils, grains, snacks, supplements etc.
3 Chome−6-18, Kita-aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Natural House is a health food supermarket chain with 13 stores around Tokyo. It specializes in organic fresh produce including fruit and vegetables, meats, fish, eggs, grains and bakery goods. It also stocks some vitamins and supplements, as well as natural beauty products.
Yuuki no Sato
Yuuki no Sato sells organic fresh produce and a range of processed goods, health supplements and cosmetics. There are five stores throughout Tokyo.
Kikui-cho 51, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-0044
Waseda Natural has a large range of rice, cereals, flour, breads, beans, sesame products, miso soup, nuts, spices, snacks, supplements, health foods, home goods and cleaning supplies.
F&F is a large store with a great range, online shopping also available via the website. It has several stores throughout Tokyo.
3-1-6 Higashiyama, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153-0043
2-23-1 Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 151-0053
Lima is a macrobiotics and natural foods store with two locations in Tokyo.
3-23-6 Nishihara, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Gaia features fresh and dry goods including household products and clothing.
Also a grocery store, Crayon House offers organic meals, both Japanese and Western style.
3-8-15 Kita-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo
If you are looking to buy dry goods in bulk, then often online stores are the best option in terms of price and convenience.
Amazon has a good selection of dry foods and health supplements
Alishan Organics is an expat-run, Japan-based online natural and organic product store. You can view the website in both English and Japanese.
SuperOrganic Foods focuses on the delivery of seasonal fruit and vegetable boxes, with produce sourced from Hokkaido and Kyushu. You can view the website in both English and Japanese.
Well, now you know everything !
Organic food in Tokyo wasn’t quite popular like it was in Western countries but it’s slowly starting to catch up nowadays. Farmer’s markets are popping up everywhere and the range of organic and health food options at supermarkets are steadily increasing.
If you know other awesome places to buy organic food in Tokyo, let us know !