I had a really exciting trip this week.
An unlikely trip.
Probably not what you expected me to talk about.
It was to the Hunts Point Produce Market in New York.
Was it glamorous? No.
Was it pretty? No.
Was it clean? We went on a rainy and muddy day, so no.
But, it made me soooooo happy. Because I was surrounded by MILES & MILES of produce.
Now, I posted about it a little on social media. And I wanted to share more here.
The market had tons of produce; most of it was NOT organic. It made me realize that the majority of the world actually buys and eats non-organic produce. I have never seen so much produce in my LIFE. There’s a reason they call it the world’s LARGEST produce market.
Now, just because most of it was not organic, that did not mean I could not locate organic produce. Many of the vendors and distributors there carried at least a couple organic items. But information wise, it’s not so widely known.
The woman we spoke to before we went told us there would not be a lot of organic.
The vendors also said, “Not a lot of organic.” And they ALSO said, “No, we don’t have any organic.” But when we looked at their boxes of food, we could locate organic produce. And they would respond with, for example, “Aaah, yes, I have some organic peppers.” Some vendors have more organics than others.
The people there, were UBER nice. They were willing to help and willing to make phone calls to vendors and check in their stock to see what they had for us. They were even willing to carry our boxes to the car.
It was my first time visiting, so partly, the difficulty in locating organic food was not knowing the market or knowing the vendors.
The vendors also said that if you call them ahead of time, you can ask what produce they have in stock.
But we would never have found this out without a first-time visit.
So why did I make all this effort to go?
- Case of 8 boxes of spinach – $5 for the case (not per box)
- 11 lbs of organic red peppers – $10
- Case of cucumbers – $12
- Case of butter leaf lettuce by Organic Lady – $18
- Case of organic blackberries (8 boxes) – $20
- Case of organic blueberries (8 boxes) – $30
- Case of organic raspberries (8 boxes) – $60 (expensive compared to other berries, but 50% less than my local coop price, which is even cheaper than Whole Foods)
- Case of Organic Lady Avocado Cilantro Dressing – $15 (for my friend who went with me – this dressing has no preservatives, by the way)
- Case of 8 organic strawberries – $42
- Case of Thai coconuts – $15
- Case of Atulfo mangos (not organic, but totally OK to eat non-organic) – $7 (BTW, there was TONS of tropical fruit. Most of it was non-organic, but a lot of tropical fruit does not need to be. Pricing was amazing on the tropical fruit.)
This is everything we found after walking through only ONE of three sections of the market. And even in that section, we were not able to make it to all the vendors. We also found organic beets, organic mixed peppers and a couple of other organic items we did not want in large quantities.
Many of the guys were willing to give us a lower price on the items we purchased and some gave it to us without us even asking.
It is best to take cash with you. There are vendors who accept cards, but there is either a $100 minimum or a 2% surcharge to pay by card. The entrance fee is stated on the Hunts Point Market website; it’s per car and per person. We paid a total of $8 to get in.
Don’t drink too much fluid when you go. There are very few bathrooms and they are a bit of a walk depending on where you are. Of course, there are lots of porta potties.
All in all, it’s an effort.
But, to me, it was totally worth it. I know I have a LOT more of the market to explore. And, I want to talk to other vendors. I will be finding out more about what they offer and even requesting/ordering some…
If you happen to go, request more organics. When we asked them why they didn’t have more organic food, they said because there is little demand. (Shocking, I know!)
If you do go, or have more questions, please email us back or put it in the comments below.