7 Handy Tips for Safer Food Shopping in Bangkok

View through window of jars on window sill

Navigating the food chain – it’s not always clear what is in your food

Does shopping for safe, healthy food in Bangkok drive you mad? It should. Everyone the world over should be mad about what’s happening to our food and we should make every effort to know what’s in it. Getting clarity on food sources and contents can be difficult be we should all keep trying.

Here are some simple tips to help guide your shopping.

1. Question your food

Where did it come from?

What are the ingredients?

What are the claims?

What is the certification? Is it legitimate? Is it current?

If you can’t read Thai ask a friend to do so.

Go online to discover more about the product and the ingredients. Do the same with certification. Contact the Bangkok Greenie and attend one of her certification workshops that explain the local and international certification frameworks.

2. Choose ugly food

Does your food look real? Go for ugly food where possible. Bright colours, enhanced sizes and perfect shapes with no imperfections may be a sign of chemically-assisted production that has kept pests at bay and boosted growth. Ugly carrots and other root vegetables with harmless imperfections can be found in Sustaina.

Look at the tuna next time you’re at the fishmongers. Does it look too red? Same goes for the salmon. Can you see colour dripping out of it? Take a look. It may be dyed.

3. Taste test your food

Does your food taste like you think it should? Assemble a line up of various brands of the same product type and compare the tastes side by side. Added sugar in milk may be a finding. Just sayin’.

4. Does your food go off?

Line up a few samples and test how long it takes each item to expire. This can be done with milk and bread. The longer it takes the more preservatives the product undoubtedly has. It’s all about going back to basics and trusting our noses, vision and taste buds.

5. Is there an address on the packaging or just an organic label?

‘Organic’ is a popular term in Thailand. It catches the attention of the consumer and preys on their trust that ‘organic’ means ‘organic’.

If there is no address connected with the product you may want to ask the supermarket where the item is from and ask for the address to be printed on the label – not just the word ‘organic’.

6. Is your butter really butter?

Worth checking this.

Butter blends are created by mixing butter with vegetable oils to reduce saturated fats and make them easier to spread.

Normally butter comes in foil-wrapped blocks. Look closely and read the labels though – it may be a blend. If that’s what you’re after fine but it’s worth a closer look for those who want real butter.

7. Shop around

The one-stop shop is increasingly harder to achieve in Bangkok, especially if you’re intent on questioning your food. Try delivery services like Passion Delivery to source from artisanal food makers.

Ultimately keep questioning – it’s worth it.

 

About Seed & Tell

We believe we all should know what is in our food. The last real transparency frontier is food. Consumers need to constantly question their food and help to promote change.

 


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