Uncovering the Silent Truth: Eating Safely in Thailand

Uncovering the Silent Truth: Eating Safely in Thailand

Sep 10, 2023Moh Suthasiny

Hello, expat friends of Thailand! 🌏🇹🇭

So, you've chosen Thailand with its mesmerizing beaches, amazing city vibes, and of course, its world-famous cuisine. Yet, have you occasionally pondered over the purity of your plate here?


The Unsettling Reality 

Recent revelations from Thai-PAN(Thailand Pesticide Alert Network) have unveiled a disconcerting statistic: close to 60% of fruits and vegetables in Thailand are tainted with detrimental chemical residues. Alarm bells, right? It poses a significant dilemma: can we truly discover trustworthy and sustainable food sources in the heart of Thailand?

Take a moment to steady yourself, for we are about to dive into the depths of this matter.


Understanding Thailand's Organic Puzzle

Thailand's move away from organic isn't merely about its soil or the hardworking farmers. It's embedded in more complexity, systemic challenges:

  • Historical Chemical Dependence: Thai agriculture experienced a shift approximately 70 years ago with the beginning of synthetic chemical fertilizers.
  • Market Barriers: Numerous enthusiastic farmers struggle to access markets that value their organic outputs. Those who have ventured into organic practices similarly struggle to scale up.
  • Transitioning Tribulations: Adopting organic methods is a commitment stretching up to three years, a daunting venture without assured market prospects. The little financial help from the government makes things difficult for them.
  • Economic Obstacles: Despite receiving support from establishments like the Bank of Agriculture and Cooperative, many farmers are struggling with mounting debts. Repeatedly using the same agricultural practices and dealing with the same intermediaries barely leaves them with any profit.
  • Certification Costs: Getting organic certification can be expensive, and some farmers just can't afford it.


Unraveling the Mysteries of Certifications

Spotting that 'organic' label might instill a sense of assurance, but should we accept it at face value?

Diverse organic certifications, whether it's EU, USDA, PGS, IFOAM, Canada Organic, or GAP, have distinct standards. And while they've championed sustainable farming, one cannot overlook potential gaps:

  • It's no secret that some non-organic farms occasionally ride on their genuinely organic-certified counterparts.
  • Audits, though regular, are mostly annual and may only skim the surface, inspecting just a sample of the entire farm.

Does this make it seem like finding pure food is hopeless?

Absolutely not! A resounding movement led by organic farms and social enterprises across Thailand is striving to rewrite this narrative. Our golden advice? Place your trust in authentic sources.


Trust - Our Guiding Beacon

Here's our recipe for dependable food:

  • Build Relationships with Farmers: Getting to know your farmers, visiting their farms, and seeing their commitment firsthand can be eye-opening. We understand this might not be an option for everyone.. Not to mention the language barrier… Or, you can
  • Choose Trustworthy Grocers: Rely on trusted grocers, doesn’t have to only be Happy Grocers, that carefully find and supply clean and eco-friendly food from different parts of Thailand. Taking all the hassle off your plate!

Happy Grocers Founders Farmers


Our Pledge at Happy Grocers

While we don't claim to have all the solutions, we are steadfast in our direction. Our ethos revolves around fostering genuine relationships with farmers, empathizing with their challenges, and ensuring that you receive the purest ingredients on your plate that we can find.

Transparency isn't just a buzzword for us. From detailed food labeling to organizing immersive farm trips, we're committed to granting you a transparent view of your food's journey.

We recognize the transitions Thailand needs to navigate towards organic nation. We're wholeheartedly supporting conventional farmers in this transition, introducing sustainable methods such as Bio Char. And, we pledge honesty - if it isn't organic yet, we won't claim it to be.

Food is more than just a basic sustenance – it symbolizes an ecosystem, where supporting local farmers, championing fair trade, and nurturing sustainable agricultural practices come together. Through all our endeavors, we aim to be the bridge connecting you to this ethos.


Join the Sustainable Food Movement

Change isn’t driven only by farmers or businesses. It’s a collective effort, involving both public and private sectors and, most importantly, you, the consumer.

With every bite of sustainably grown produce, we inch closer to transforming Thailand’s food landscape. Together, let's ensure that the future of food in Thailand is both delicious and sustainable. 🌾🍲🌱

Happy eating and here’s to making informed choices! 🥂


Disclaimer: Food and agriculture is a vast and intricate realm, and a single article may only scratch the surface. Drawing from our extensive years in the industry and hands-on research, we present insights that reflect our journey and knowledge. We acknowledge there's always more to learn and explore. 🌾📘

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