Eating Sustainably in Singapore

Shopping | Written By, NOW!Singapore | July 18th, 2016

You are what you eat. Never before has this statement held truer for Singaporeans and Singapore residents. Organic is the new F&B buzzword and everyone from fine dining restaurants and gourmet food purveyors, to home cooks and market vendors, has jumped onto the ‘clean eating’ bandwagon.

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This is for good reason. Singaporeans still love their laksas and their la mians, yet a conscious movement towards eating more responsibly has come about. People are now more curious about where their food comes from, how it has been treated and the effect it has on their health.
In Singapore, most of our consumables originate from countries other than our own, adding to the cost of already expensive, organically farmed vegetables, fruits, meat and fish. Even so, the past years have seen an increase in demand for produce free of nasty additives and this has resulted in slightly more accessible pricing. However, the benefits for eating organically far outweigh the increase in household budget, a fact most Singaporeans are coming to terms with. The new demand has forced Singapore’s supermarkets to dedicate whole sections to everything from pesticide-free vegetables to GMO-free snacks. Even some hawker vendors at wet markets like Tiong Bahru sell farm fresh produce from boutique farms in Lim Chu Kang and kampung eggs from hormone-free chickens.
Conscious eating is happening not just in our homes, but also when we dine out. Trendy cafes are topping their English muffins with organic eggs, with kale, quinoa and buckwheat now standard ingredients at casual dining eateries. Fine steakhouses now offer more grass-fed beef, and cocktails across the land are being shaken and stirred with cold-pressed organic juices.
However, making the complete shift towards eating clean is tough in today’s quick-paced, fast food world of excess and indulgence. Not only does one have to go the extra mile to seek out more sustainable choices, they also come with a considerably higher price tag. Luckily, if you have made the switch and seek pesticide- and chemical-free goods, our island has a growing number of retailers and e-tailers to meet your needs, offering products that are either freshly imported or locally grown. You pay a premium, but quality is assured. Here are some of our picks for food purveyors that stock everything you need to eat well with less damage to the environment.

The Organic Grocer

THE ORGANIC GROCER
17 Mohamed Sultan Rd, tel: 8125 4077, theorganicgrocer.com
For all your household needs.

The Organic Grocer 2

o meat, poultry, seafood and dry goods like grains and cereals, dairy and dairy-free products. They are well known for their organic veggie and fruit surprise boxes, where a medley of seasonal fresh organic produce is delivered to customers’ doorsteps. Options include boxes that cater to Western or Asian diets, juicing boxes and one suited for baby food. Prices begin at a good value $30 for approximately 3kgs of produce. Other top buys include their ethically farmed chickens. These are French-originated, healthy birds that are raised on a family farm in Malaysia. They are free range and bred without hormones and antibiotics as well as being fed non-GMO feed and Indian medicinal herbs. You can also shop here for household goods – they stock Paris Creek Biodynamic milk, organic baby formula and tons of non-toxic household cleaners and personal care products. You’ll be happy to know that their groceries come in paper bags or recycled cardboard boxes – you can also opt for ‘no plastics’ in your packaging.

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HUBER’S BUTCHERY
22 Dempsey Road, tel: 6737 1588, hubers.com.sg
For organic beef and filler-free sausages.

Huber's

Ask anyone where you can get the best sausages in town and most will point you in the direction of Huber’s sprawling new megastore at 22 Dempsey Road. Their beef, chicken and pork sausages are made fresh in-house and are free of MSG, fillers and nasty additives. Apart from these, they sell certified organic Australian beef and grass-fed varieties with most of their meat products hormone- and antibiotic-free. If you are curious about where they come from, have a chat with the butchers who will gladly help you with your purchases. Though meat is their mainstay, they have an excellent selection of vegetables sourced largely from Australia (including some of the finest avocados we have seen in Singapore), a large selection of cheese (with a few organic varieties), un-homogenised milk and other gourmet foods. They also use only degradable plastic shopping bags and send all their carton boxes for recycling.

ZENXIN AGRI-ORGANIC FOOD
Blk14 Pasir Panjang Wholesale Centre 01-25, tel: 6779 7839, organicdelivery.sg
For organic veggies from a farm just across the border.

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Locals might recognise the Zenxin brand from the organic vegetables sections in Cold Storage and Giant supermarkets. Their prices are competitive and several of their certified organic vegetables are grown on their own farm in Malaysia. We regularly buy their leafy greens including kai lan, nai bai and kangkong. Some of the temperate organic seasonal vegetables are sourced from Australia, Asia, Europe and the USA. You can order these products online or head over to their wholesale centre in Pasir Panjang. Zenxin also has an in-house brand called Simply Natural that sells a range of organic Asian spices and healthy noodles made with brown rice, quinoa and buckwheat. To learn more about food and organic farming techniques, you can take a trip to their organic park just outside of Kluang, Johore, where you can try your hand at harvesting your own organic vegetables.

THE FISHWIVES
01-05B Cluny Court, 501 Bukit Timah Road, tel: 6464 8384, thefishwives.com
For sustainable seafood.

The Fishwives

Operating from their zen-like store at Cluny Court, The Fishwives are the ‘go to’ people in town for unadulterated, sustainable, clean and fresh seafood. If like us, you are horrified with the stories of chemical-laden and genetically modified fish, be assured that these guys bring you the safest, best quality seafood available. Their bestseller is easily their wild caught Akaroa salmon. This sea-reared variety of salmon is so fresh that it can be on your plate within 24-hours of being caught at sea. Apart from this you can choose from Kuhlbarra Australian Barramundi and Wild Caught New Zealand Snapper and blue cod. Walk in to make your selection, or order online.

THE BARBIE GIRLS
order online via thebarbiegirls.com
For fish and meat from sustainable, low-density farms.

The Barbie Girls

Instead of focusing on certified organic produce, the ‘girls’ focus on sourcing their seafood, meat and poultry products from farms that care for their animals and practice sustainable, low-density methods of farming. Their best sellers include smoked salmon, trout, kippers, mackerel and haddock from a Scottish smokehouse that practices age-old techniques and supplies their goods to the British Royal Family. They are barbecue specialists and their Black Angus grass-fed is from New South Wales, from cows raised on pastoral land and free of hormones, antibiotics or GMOs. At The Barbie Girls, food does not go waste, they donate all products that do not meet the customer’s standards (but are perfectly safe to eat) to The Food Bank; they also use biodegradable plastics in their packaging. You would need to order worth a minimum of $100 to qualify for delivery, but that is not tough with their wide array of products.

DAIRYFOLKS
5 Lim Chu Kang Lane 8A, tel: 6793 7114, dairyfolks.com
For 100% fresh milk from a local farm.

Dairyfolks

Most of us are used to buying cartons of milk that have travelled hundreds of miles to our supermarket shelves so when we heard of a dairy farm right here in Singapore’s Lim Chu Kang, we were very excited to finally have a morning cuppa that reduces our carbon footprint. The farm has been in existence since 1936 and has grown from six Holstein Friesian cows to about a hundred today. They are fed freshly-cut grass and milked twice daily. This results in 100% fresh milk that is free of preservatives and additives. The milk is pasteurised and single source and can be yours for $5.50 a litre. They aren’t ‘certified’ organic, but on our sunny shores, this is as good as it gets! Available via their online store

CEDELE
multiple locations including 01-02 Great World City, tel: 6836 1426, cedelemarket.com.sg
For healthy loaves of organic bread.

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Your everyday slice of bread contains so much more than what the package promises, including nasties like emulsifiers, sugars and fats – the list goes on! If you buy your daily bread from Cedele, all of their baked loaves are free of improvers, emulsifiers or artificial ingredients and also come in sweet options like their orange cranberry loaf – they also offer a completely sugar- and egg-free 100% wholemeal boule. The breads taste and smell deliciously rustic and are available in their stores island wide – do call ahead to check if your preferred loaf is in stock. They also have a selection of breads made with totally organic ingredients that are sugar and egg-free and low in gluten. Our pick of this lot is the fibre-rich organic graham and chia seed loaf.

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