A friend of mine asked me recently whether all the food in South America was organic simply because most producers could't afford to use pesticides. While this may be true in rural parts of the poorer countries, in cities it is very hard to know where what you're eating has come from and how it was grown.
Lima is a large enough city that it has a big variety of levels of service and products. We had heard from Beth, whose vegetarian restaurant we ate at in Huacachina over our anniversary that there was a conscious movement toward quality organic, sustainable and local produce in Lima unlike other parts of the country where quantity and price are the main considerations.
We were intrigued, and when we arrived in the city, made it one of our aims to discover the best places to find organic food in Lima.
Bioferia de Miraflores
Most stalls sell fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables that comes from farms not far from Lima, but there are others specialising in herbs and spices, dried foods, organic eggs and dairy products (including some rather lovely goats cheeses), chocolate, pastries, toiletries and even some clothing. There are also a few stalls selling food and drinks ready to eat, so you can pop buy a pick up a picnic to eat in the adjacent park.
Not only is this weekly market an excellent place to do the majority of your food shopping, it's also a great place to people watch. Popular with middle class Limeños and gringo expat yummy mummies, it can be a fascinating place to watch different residents of the city interact and mingle.
Bioferia de Surquillo
Run by the same cooperative as the Saturday market in Parque Reducto, you can buy many of the same things as there, but this one offers a little more shelter from the elements.
This unassuming little shop has a wide range of organic products including some fresh vegetables, many kinds of teas and other herbs, a good selection of healthy snacks including many suitable for coeliacs. It also stocks organic cosmetics, soaps and health products.
This place is really three things in one: an organic food store, second hand shop and small café. They sell organic meat, grains and breads, and the second hand shop has an interesting selection of vintage clothing, vinyl records and books (including a small selection in English) while the café serves up organic coffee and little treats.
We already reviewed and compared two of what we considered to be the best restaurants in Lima (and possible all of South America), Almazen and Raw Café, both of which serve all organic, vegetarian food. Click here to see the review.
What did we miss? Let us know in the comments!