Cheap Organic Food – San Jose, Costa Rica

(borrowed from

(borrowed from

I just read the book called Skinny Bitch this week, and I think it has ruined me. Well, in an eating-junk-and-meat sort of way. It’s a good book with mostly good information, but written in an over-the-top California snobby super-model style. What I mean is, there is a lot of cussing and inappropriate language, for shock factor and humor, but it starts to grate on your nerves after a few chapters. Anyway, it reveals some pretty eye-opening statistics (cited and verifiable, of course) about animal cruelty in slaughterhouses; chemicals, hormones and pesticides that get into the meat, cheese, and eggs we eat; and how the FDA is a corrupt government agency that is being led and persuaded by the farm associations doing all the harm.

So, as a result, I am grossed out by meat, and more careful about the eggs and cheese I eat. Luckily (I think), I am in Costa Rica and there are many little farms here that are organic, humane, and healthier than the mass-produced animal farms elsewhere (although, I can’t speak for the cattle, most is sold to the US/Burger King companies). So, I am on the search for organic, healthy foods that exclude meat and it’s tougher than I thought, especially being in Costa Rica. Although, I am living in San Jose, which will have something even if the rest of the country doesn’t.

I found a great website for vegan/vegetarian recipes developed by the International Vegetarian Union (IVU). It can’t guide me on where to find items in Costa Rica, but I am determined to comb through all the local grocery stores. Each one has their own great features, which will be in a different post, but the organics sections are small! And so, the hunt for cheap organic food in Costa Rica begins.

9 thoughts on “Cheap Organic Food – San Jose, Costa Rica”

  1. Hi

    Can you tell me what you have learned about organic beef in Costa Rica, such as where to buy it, what the general practices are, where the meat is sourced in the local supermercados?

    thanks so much,

  2. Hi Tracy, great questions. I’m not sure I can go into the explicit detail that you want, but here is what I know. The cows here is almost completely grass fed on farms across the country, which is generally a great thing. I would assume by looking that the cows are not fed growth hormones, since they are not grossly obese like the cows I see in the states, but I can’t speak for antibiotic practices.

    The farms here are still in process to become certified as the process takes 7-8 years and most farmers can’t afford to go through the process. However, some of them are still in process, so they are abiding by organic regulations but they aren’t officially certified and so they can’t label their meat that way. The information you are looking for is with each individual farmer. That’s the trick about Costa Rica, there’s not a lot of info available on the internet, but if you want to know where the meat or produce comes from, you have to ask people, get phone numbers and visit them. is a good website that sources their products from local farmers, so they would know who to put you in touch with. And of course, you’d need to speak spanish to get the info, as most people in the industry don’t speak English. I hope this helps.

  3. Hi i was wondering maybe you know where can i buy the book in Costa Rica? i’ll rather a book store and not online…i really want to read it! =D thank you (

  4. Hey Karolina,

    I borrowed the book from someone here in Costa Rica, so I’m not sure if they have it at the Liberia Internacional, but you might try there. I’m an amazon advocate to ship in books, it’s fairly inexpensive and a lot of times you can get used ones. There’s always the downloadable PDF option too. Good luck!

  5. Hi! =)

    My name is Carlos Duran, my wife and I work a family farm on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. We work using a technique called bio-intensive organic farming. We also offer a delivery service for organic goods harvested from our farm and other family farms.

    It’s not easy finding true organic goods, even in a small country like Costa Rica. If you have any questions about organic farming or practices in the country we would be happy to help answer them for you. =)

    If you would like to learn more about us or have some questions or are just curious about what we have on the delivery menu please feel free to visit our website

    Thanks and we look forward to making new friends here on Cheap Food!

    All the Best,

  6. Hello,

    Thank you so much for your website, I find it really interesting and useful!

    As for organic resources, stores, etc. in Costa Rica, the nutritionist I’m going to has a very complete list on her website, through the following link:

    I have found it extremely useful and have managed to buy everything I need, through the resources on the list.

    Best regards,


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