For a long, long time, I have been meaning to go up to the Eco Feria in La Reina. It’s mostly organic veggies, and is giant on Saturdays, and much smaller on Wednesdays, or so I’m told. There’s babywearing devices and organic, free-range eggs and herbs and spices and other things to fill your pantry/larder/belly, including Bolivian pink salt, some of it flavored, strangely with Chinese garlic.
Anyway, I finally made it up to the ecoferia, and decided to do some/all of my week’s shopping there, instead of at my local feria. Because I failed to go this past Sunday for reasons I don’t fully remember, but I’m sure were very valid at the time.
I should say that I am pro-organic, in the same way I am pro small and family farms, eating locally (easy enough to do in Santiago). I make it a priority, but it is not the be all and end all of who I am. It is (in Chile) difficult to achieve, without driving all over town (or biking, but this would have been probably 75 minutes from my house on the way there, uphill), taking long stretches of time to strategically plan your day/week/month, and much more expensive than my regular feria. Simply put, I selfishly prioritize myself over the environment, buying food that is probably pesticide-laden, but still much fresher than what I would get in the states. I don’t like buying organic foods from the supermarket for the same reason I don’t like anything from the supermarket. It’s overpriced (See supermarket collusion), and I don’t like my produce refrigerated unless necessary because it loses half the taste.
So here’s what I bought, and how it stacked up. For other feria reports, use the search feature to look for feria reports, or go here. It goes without saying that this produce is more expensive than what I buy at the normal feria, and that I am fortunate to be able to experiment to buy some stuff there. If you were feeding a large family who is big on veggies, you’d spend a mint here. For some people that’s an option, and the option they take.
And without further ado, my posed vegetables on the crappy Sodimac table I bought (poorly made in China, because I hate the environment AND people). You can see my gas canister in the background. I think it adds a lovely splash of color.
And here’s the haul:
1 large cauliflower 800 CLP
1 bunch of smallish beets 500 CLP
pecans in shells 2800 CLP
6 pink lady apples 550 CLP
1 bag boldo (leaf for herbal tea) 300 CLP
1 bunch lovely scallions 500 CLP
1 butternut squash 500 CLP
300 gr. baby spinach 900 CLP
3 small artichokes 1200 CLP
1/2 dozen eggs (5 pictured) 900 CLP
Total: 9,600 CLP= $20 US
This may not sound like much to you, but by Chilean standards, for one person (who may be eating veggies somewhat sparingly this week), it’s a small fortune. It’s probably twice to three times as much as I would normally spend, and I ended up with half the produce, weight and size-wise, but the pecans were very expensive, so that’s unfair. But it would have even be more unfair if I’d paid the $9 a pound for walnuts that they were charging. However, I shall enjoy every organic, local bite. And sip. But not the nut cracking. Because that, quite frankly, is a chore.
Details: EcoFeria La Reina, Larraín 9750 website.
And a bonus pic of perhaps the dirtiest chicken egg I’ve ever seen for sale. You’re supposed to wash these before using. I think I shall.
That picture of the egg reminds me of when I had to go out and collect the eggs from our chickens (my least favorite chore) and a lot of them were like that. It really grossed me out for some reason. And that’s saying a lot considering the amount of cow/horse manure that I encountered on a daily basis. Anyway, aren’t you glad that I’m commenting about animal dung on your blog? Ok, back to studying…
Please comment all you like. I chose somewhat cleaner eggs, and I have to say, it grosses me out, too! But buying closer to the source, and all that!
I wish I could have easy access to this sort of food on a daily basis. Unfortunately in today’s world, organically grown ingredients at decent prices are really hard to come by 🙁
I understand why this is, but yes, I agree that I’d love to get better access. I guess it’s more important to eat some veggies organic than others, but to be quite honest, between biking for 10 minutes or doing transit for many miles to get to my veggies, I’ll probably choose conventional for most things. This is partially a function of not living in a fancy/hippie (or fancy hippie) neighborhood, but the benefits outweigh the downsides.
Thanks for commenting!