Sometimes it's easier to score drugs than it is to find organic food in Egypt. Not anymore! This is a roundup of all the places you can get your organic superfood fix.
In a brief foolish moment of bravado, I declared I was going to follow a 28-day programme called The Fast Metabolism Diet by nutritionist Haylie Pomroy, which is all the rage. Renown for being a revolutionary boost to your supposedly destroyed metabolism, the diet helps you lose weight at a faster rate while eating more than you would on other diets.
One of the keys to the diet is loading up on organic fruits and vegetables. The idea is to give your liver a break from having to deal with chemicals it doesn’t understand and spends time trying to clear from your body rather than burning the food you consume to help you lose weight. You don’t gain weight from regular fruits and vegetables of course, but it becomes very hard for your body to burn the fat you already have.
You know what else turned out to be hard? Scoring a wide variety of organic foods in Egypt. In preparation for the diet, I went out on a diligent hunt only to fall upon the treasures galore of organic fresh produce that Egypt farms and actually exports to the world. You just need to know where to look.
We’ve rounded up a list of farms, websites, Facebook pages and numbers you can get in touch with to easily get your organic fix.
Not only do they have about 10 different species of tomatoes with different tastes and purposes, but also a whole list of leafy greens, herbs, and endives. You can use their order form on their website to pick your products, or send them a message on their cool Facebook page and request the basket of the week, which has a curated selection of freshly picked produce depending on the season and availability, delivered straight to your doorstep. For more on Makar Farms read our feature article on them here.
Sara’s Organic Food
This awesome woman, Sara Nour, who converted abandoned old family land into a highly productive organic farm, also has ‘the weekly basket’ concept that includes includes organic eggs and a jar of organic honey, should you like to add it. Her Desert Lake Farm produces things like mangos, grapes as sweet as candy, pears, aromatic herbs, and your typical veggies from tomatoes to aubergines and courgettes. Call them on 01018944699 for your weekly basket on Sundays and Tuesdays before 2PM or order on their website. For more on Sara Nour, check out our feature interview here.
Though you can’t order from their website as conveniently as other producers, it is worth mentioning Isis Organic products which you can often find in supermarkets such as Metro, Alfa, and Seoudi. You might know their honey, but they also have a lot of other organic products from lentils and nuts, to milk, chicken and eggs.
Nature’s Gifts Stores
Now this one’s a gem, even though they do not solely sell local organic products. It’s a website filled with not only organic goodies but also everything super healthy that you can’t find anywhere else. Steel cut oats anyone? Organic maple syrup? Brown rice pasta? Millet? Amaranth? Yeah, that’s what we’re talking about. They also have chemical free meats, and a range of local and imported organic fruits and veggies. This is a healthy person’s candy store. You order online and they deliver everything to your doorstep…even if you’re in Sahel!
Don’t want to trek all over town gathering Jana’s products from one place, Makar’s from another, and not into a basket which could be filled with surprises? Check out Offah and select the organic option under each category to see what they have on offer.
Egyptian Hydro Farm
These are the hydroponic farm people who plant the kale; the baby Tuscan kale, the baby fries kale and the red Russian kale. They also plant sweet basil, purple basil, Italian basil and cinnamon basil. Sounds super interesting but if you’re not sure how to use them, they’ve got plenty of recipes on their website, and you can order their products through Gourmet.
Anne Mahmoud’s Mulbery Farm Ismailia. She displays her foods at most bazaars in Zamalek, Heliopolis and Maadi, and at CSA Maadi on most Thursdays. Alternatively you can drop by the farm and pick your produce yourself, have lunch and rest in nature, or you can call her up and have her set up a box of what you want for you. Call her at 0101130921 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more on how to get her products or get to her farm.
Farmer’s Market at Nun Centre Zamalek. Every Saturday, Nun Centre hosts a farmer’s market that only sells organic stuff and lots of healthy foods and products. Call them on 02-27354658 to confirm they’re holding the farmer’s market on the Saturday you want to go.
Habiba Organic Farm in Nuweiba. Located right next to Habiba Beach Lodge, this is a place to go for alternative tourism, or to volunteer for a minimum of three months, farming 6 hours a day, and bumming by the beach for the rest. And guess what? Pets are welcome. Check their website and Facebook page)