The term “organic products,” as well as those with the label “100% natural”, “biodegradable” or “eco”, usually relate to healthy products that were not grown with chemical pesticides or agents, are fresh, have not been genetically modified, and that the animals are raised without cruelty. They have better nutritional and culinary quality, flavor, and texture, which benefits healthier physical development in children.
The variety of organic products sold in Mérida are found in specialty stores, consumer networks and co-ops, farmers’ markets, or in supermarket chains that have realized the importance of this growing trend. It includes coffee, fruits, vegetables, milk, eggs, and meat, as well as processed and packaged foods, even personal care products.
Organic production does not contaminate the environment (soil and water), respects traditional knowledge, and promotes biodiversity and conservation. Organic products are free from toxins such as preservatives, antibiotics, pesticides, and additives; they do not contain steroids; in many cases are homemade; and most importantly, the producers (indigenous and social organizations) generally receive a fair proportion of the final price through so-called fair trade.
How to identify them: Organic products are distinguished from those which are not by the seal of certification which guarantees that ingredients and production are natural. Imported organic products from Spain have to say “Bio”; from France, “agriculture biologique”; from the US, “organic”; they all mean the same. In Mexico the products only have to be labelled “organic”.
Since the beginning of the “boom” of organic food, many companies have developed their own logos to say that their products are natural, but they do not carry the organic seal. If you see products that are labelled “100% natural”, don’t be fooled, as there is currently a law that regulates labelling. So you really can’t tell what a product might contain.
Where to get products
There are networks or merchants at the local level (parishes, schools, social organizations) that sell organic products grown at the ecological agriculture college in Maní “U Yits ka’an” (Sap from heaven) and from the integrated agro-ecological farms belonging to the peninsula’s rural network of fair trade. In the El Señor de la Misericordia, Calle 41 x 32A, Fraccionamiento San Ramón Norte, every Tuesday from 9 am to 2 pm they distribute a package (sabucán) with a variety of fresh foods including vegetables, fruits, eggs, or honey, at a cost of approximately 170 pesos. In order to obtain it, you must first subscribe and pay each month in advance. Tel. 948 0475.
Café Orgánico offers coffee from various regions of the country, chocolate, cookies, horchata, ice cream, honey, bee pollen, soy milk, fines herbs and chipotle dip made from tofu, gluten-free granola, herbal teas, organic repellents, and personal care products. They also carry earthworm planting soil in small packages and other gardening products. Their address is Café Orgánico, Calle 33D local 1 at Avenida Reforma (Calle 72), x Cupules y Colón, in the Centro Comercial Colón. Hours 9 am to 7.30 pm Monday to Friday and from 9 am to 3 pm on Saturdays. Tel. 925 2831.
Decisión Ambiental, voces Naturales has organic products for sale like fresh vegetables, fruits, citrics, hen and quail eggs, Indian nuts, vermicompost, aromatic and edible plants, Neem products and vegetarian food. Facebook page: Decisión Ambiental. Every Wednesday from 10 am to 3 pm. Calle 10 #185 x 11 and 13, Col. García Ginerés, Taller B&G.
Ya’axtal Eco-Tienda & Café carries a wide array of organic foods, dairy, fruits and vegetables, and eggs. Prolongación de Montejo between Calle 23 and 25. Open 9-3 and 5-8 Mon.-Fri. and 9-3 Sat. Tel. 926 4989. Web: www.yaaxtal.com
Aromas Orgánicos y Naturales offers 100% Mexican products which are free of chemical processing, both in cultivation and manufacture, maintaining harmony with nature. They sell white and brown rice, amaranth, coffee, honey, nuts, homemade baked goods, concentrates and jams, body creams, mineral salts, and biodegradable cleaning products. Their address is Calle 50 # 249 x 47 y 49, Francisco de Montejo. Hours: from 10 am to 2 pm and 4 pm to 9 pm. Tel. 953 3238.
Comercial Mexicana at Gran Plaza and Mega Balcones carries packaged fresh products, tofu and vegetables, but not consistently. They also carry soybean oil, olive oil, brown rice, beans, dried fruit, cookies, jamaica, milk, honey, teas and jams. They also offer products for diabetics. Tels. 944 2380 and 981 2633 (Mega Balcones).
Costco carries cow and soy milk by the bottle; fresh tofu, and frozen vegetables and fruits. Tel. 942.4650.
Chedraui Selecto, near Centro de Convenciones Siglo XXI on the road to Progreso has a section called “Products of the world”: from Asia, Spain, USA, France, Italy and the rest of the world in small quantities, including organic and natural products. They also have Light products and products for diabetics.
Wal Mart and Superama have fresh fruit, olive oil, cereals, soy milk, fruit juices, jams, pastas, teas and products from the label Aires del Campo. They also have Light products and products for diabetics.
The Mercado Fresco de Slow Food de Yucatán (Farmer’s Market) is open every Saturday from 9 am to 1 pm at Café Orgánico, Calle 33D local 1 at Avenida Reforma (Calle 72), x Cupules y Colón, in the Centro Comercial Colón, to sell homemade, natural, and organic products, such as organic vegetables, sprouts, fruits, organic farm eggs, pickled gherkins, poultry, food from Korea, Argentina and Peru, homemade bread, Neem products, cheese, honey, Royal Jelly, pollen, quail eggs, herbal infusions, preserves, herbal oils, coffee, tofu, chocolate, kefir, mushrooms, granola, vanilla, peanut butter, dressings, and more. Help save the planet! Bring your own shopping bag! Come each week to be pleasantly surprised, and spend a pleasant time with others that savor the “Slow” eating style.
Slow Food Yucatan is an non-profit eco-gastronomic organization that promotes healthy production and consumption of food produced locally, preserving the rich culinary heritage of our region. This provides benefits to local farmers and artisanal producers, as well as healthy and delicious benefits for anyone who eats in Yucatan. More information for new members: [email protected]
Terramaya Orgánica: organic turkeys.
Café Frambuesa, the desserts are amazing and they avoid all processed food. All the fruit and complements are sliced and served at the moment. Avenida García Lavín, in Plaza Ateneum.
Fresh Spot. If you’re a big fan of salads this is THE place to go, they have variety of products and also you can create your own by selecting all the ingrediets! There are also paninis, wraps and the green juice is the best! Avenida García Lavin, in Plaza Di Bari, from 8 am everyday.
Merci, is located in Plaza San Angelo, in Avenida del Patria. Their concept is “Healthy cooking”. Facebook page: Merci (Panadería)
T|BAR. This is the perfect place for tea addicts, but they also have other drinks such as smoothies made out of natural fruit, specialty coffee and low carb frappes of different flavors and gluten free, no trans fats, sugar or cholesterol. It’s located at City Center, across from the playground.
Truck Chef. Who said a hamburger couldn’t be healthy? Truck Chef proves the opposite, because this little truck has the best hamburgers and tacos! The jam, bread and ketchup are handmade and the have plenty options fot those who are vegetarian. You can find this little truck at Av. Cámara de Comercio x Calle 15 (Placita de Mis Yorkies), Fraccionamiento Montecristo.
Rincón vegano. This is one of the latest places, it is very small but it’s delicious! They have this concept “Animal Friendly” that goes against animal suffering, plus they use organic ingredients; all the baked goods and desserts are gluten free and contain no dairy. Calle 19 #278 x 22 and 24, Colonia Alemán.
Here are some other healthy restaurant options:
Monique Duval is proprietress of a fabulous “whole foods”-type bakery and café, that is so much more! She also prepares all of her own cultures for sourdough breads, kefir and yogurt; her marvelous organic garden produces arugula, lemongrass and more goodies for tasty creations like homemade pizzas; and she has also already had a fantastic “Slow Food”-type activity on her own, teaching school kids where bread comes from, starting with growing their own wheat! Monique’s Bakery and Café, and Flow Holistic Center, are located at Calle 79 No. 191A x 36 y 38, Montes de Ame, behind Gran Plaza. Tel. 195-6389. Open Tue/Thu/Fri/Sat 8 am – 4 pm.
Lo que hay Café. International vegan cuisine at Hotel MedioMundo, with food from different countries each day! Very highly rated on TripAdvisor! Calle 55 #533 x 64 and 66.
100% Natural Mérida, is a Mexican franchise with over 30 years dedicated to promoting the consumption of healthy foods and beverages to anyone pursuing a natural and healthy lifestyle. Tel. 948 4590. Calle 8 #306, Col. Gonzalo Guerrero.
Ecosalat, is a salads store that offers a bar with 28 fresh ingredients to assemble the salad of your choice, getting to promote a healthy and eco-friendly way of eating. A very good option for healthy and delicious fast food. They have home service from 12pm to 5pm, Monday through Friday. Tel. (044) 220.127.116.11.85.
Calle 5 #113 x 20 and 22, Col. San Antonio Cinta, across from Top Body GYM, near the Glorieta del Pocito.
Bistro Cultural, is a French restaurant where you can find healthy food for your body and mind. Fish, chicken, turkey, pork and also rabbit, with fresh ingredients every day, reinventing the European flavors and bringing them to Yucatán.
The variety of organic products sold in Mérida is found in specialized stores, networks and co-ops, temporary organic tradeshows, and in some supermarkets and restaurants.