San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
Farmer's markets

New Saturday afternoon organic market to open in Zapote

Love organic produce, but don’t love getting up at the crack of dawn every weekend to go to the market? San José organic food lovers can add a new afternoon produce fair to their activities list starting in September, as the Feria Orgánica El Trueque expands into the southeastern San José neighborhood of Zapote.

“From the very beginning we have wanted to expand to other markets,” said Fidel de Rooy, head of merchandising for the Association of of Organic Producers and Consumers of Costa Rica, the fair’s organizer. “We will be able to reach a completely different group of people with this new location.”

The Feria Orgánica El Trueque got its start in 1999 in Moravia, in northern San José, as the first market exclusively dedicated to organic products. In 2004, the market moved to the south of the city in Paso Ancho, where it is held every other Saturday. The market now sells products at 25 different booths from 12 different families committed to producing organic food.

Starting on Sept. 13, the market will close up at 12 p.m. so that vendors can move to the new Zapote location at 1 p.m. The Zapote market will be located at the plaza in front of the CEMACO home goods store in Zapote.

Vegetables, fruits, dairy, herbs and corn products will all be available at the fair as well as handmade art and organic cooking products. Everything sold at the market is certified organic either from Costa Rica’s Eco-Lógica company, BCS Óko-Garantie from Germany or PrimusLabs from California.


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I’ve lived in Costa Rica for 8 years now and have been organically raising goats, chickens and pigs. I am well acquainted with the principal outlets for organic foods here and I have not found one legitimate organic dairy, egg or meat operation here. What I have found is the widespread use of commercial feed by dairy and chicken operations whose products are sold at the “green” ferias and markets in CR. Unfortunately, the primary ingredients in most commercial animal feed are GMO corn and GMO soy. In addition, it was admitted to me by a Feria Verde board member and the dairy operator herself, that goats are given pharmaceutical injections for parasites. The drugs used for parasites are very powerful. They only be used on healthy, non-pregnant, adult goats because it could kill them. I checked what was available at my local vet for parasites removal…looked up the active ingredient online… the U.S. there is a 30 days hold on the milk from any animal that receives this drug. There is no hold here. These products are labeled as “natural” and many times purchased as organic. Sold at Feria Verde, EL Trueque, etc, etc, etc. I didn’t do an investigation. This information was given to me. Unfortunately, it is very likely that antibiotics are commonly used in the production of livestock products sold at “green” ferias/stores too. If you want real organic food in CR you, the buying public is going to have to start to hold their vendors accountable because in my experience the folks that run these ferias and stores can’t and/or won’t.

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