Healthy eating is not just a trend for me, it's a lifestyle that I want to maintain as much as possible (yes, I still go to buffets and eat sugary sweets but these are treats that I don't intend to take in every single day! once in a while is good enough). I know it's a bit more difficult to source out organic goods and more often than not, you'll have to pay the price. However, I have made my choice and I want my family and I to eat as healthy as possible - with less or no chemicals, msg, high fructose corn syrup and a bunch of other very unhealthy and unsuitable ingredients for our body.
I have listed down my go to sources for organic goods below along with their pros and cons.
I order from the green grocer online regularly and I can say that I am one satisfied customer. They have a broad range of products and I order naturally raised and grass fed meats, organic salad greens and vegetables, fruits, baking supplies, bottled gourmet products, organic eggs and butter, organic sausages and desserts like suman and ice cream. You will have to check their website on your own to see all of the products that they are carrying.
- Convenient online shopping with a new website complete with photos. So easy to use and choose.
- One stop shopping is possible because they carry a lot of products and is basically complete as compared to other online stores.
- They always send confirmation emails after every order, another to confirm your total order amount, and text messages to inform you of the estimated time of arrival or any changes in your order (in other words, they are very organized).
- Their delivery charge is reasonable especially if you meet the minimum, unlike other stores.
- They have good quality items. If you're not happy with the vegetables, they will gladly take it back and not charge you - but this rarely happens because they choose their items well prior to delivery.
- Deliveries are scheduled every Wed, Thur and Sat and you have to meet the 12nn cutoff every Monday and Thursday in order to make it (or pay a fee - fair enough but just try to make sure you make the cutoff anyway). I just wish they delivered more than 3x a week ;)
- Some items are more expensive compared to other online shops such as meat, but this is also because they are not the direct source - they also source out their goods from farmers and suppliers so naturally, additional fees apply.
- You can't pay with a credit card directly, but only through PayPal so I just pay Cash Upon Delivery to avoid PayPal fees.
I ordered online from Holy Carabao because I wanted to try their products and saw that they carried meats as well. I was disappointed to find out that the organic and naturally raised meats were from Down To Earth (and not directly from them) and were priced so much more! I could've just ordered directly from their source, had I known then. Their organic veggies though are pretty good and I'm glad that as an option, they are now selling their products in S&R.
- Organic vegetable products are now available for purchase at S&R.
- I like the quality of their veggies and glad that they also carry Malagos unsweetened chocolate and cheese!
- You can pay for your order with a check if you don't have cash on hand.
- Online ordering through Holy Carabao is quite backward - they still have not updated their website (and the old one wasn't so great) - they will make you email your orders through a word document that you have to fill out, and you compute your own total amount (which is not even final because as we know, these items need to be measured first for final amount to be determined), and then you have to text them. Too much work if you ask me, haha (I order online to lessen the hassle of shopping but it's not the case with HC).
- Delivery charge is quite expensive for the South area and because of this, I have stopped ordering online. Their staff also isn't so organized and the delivery people aren't so knowledgeable either (unlike the delivery staff of The Green Grocer who seem to be updated on what's going on and actually know about their items).
3. Down To Earth
Down to earth was the answer to my search for organic and preservative free bacon and a number of grass fed meats from local farmers. You can tell the difference once you cook the meat - they are tender and tasty. Best of all, I know they are free from chemicals and feeding them to my family reassures me that we are lessening intake of unnatural ingredients and increasing nutrients in our bodies. Locally sourced also means that we are helping the Filipino farmers that are part of the direct suppliers to Down to Earth - they actually provide the names and locations of these farmers if you'd like to check where the meat is coming from.
I've also tried their raw cow's milk and it really beats boxed/uht milk when it comes to freshness and taste! Besides the vitamins that one can get from drinking raw milk, lactose intolerance is also avoided because enzymes aren't destroyed by pasteurization. I have given this kind of milk to both my girls, from when Natalie was one and a half and Audrey was 3. Although we don't regularly consume raw milk, we do from time to time and this was my only source so far (Holy Carabao gets theirs from here as well).
Although they carry mostly meats, they also offer dairy, grass fed butter, organic and biodynamically grown herbs and greens, heirloom tomatoes and chicken and beef broth. I am quite happy with their products and will be a faithful customer as long as their quality stays the same.
- You can buy their products at the Salcedo Market.
- Meats are of good quality and reasonably priced since they source them directly from the local farmers.
- You can easily place orders online and they will send you an email confirmation and text you if in case some items are not available.
- You can pay for your orders online with a credit card.
- Delivery is done through a courier so there is a corresponding shipping charge which isn't exactly cheap. What I do is I order by bulk to maximize this fee.
- As with most suppliers of fresh meats and veggies, some items on the website are not always available.