Organic products in Vietnam

Hello everyone,

As a consumer in Vietnam, you may seek to maintain a healthy lifestyle by choosing mostly organic products. If you do favour such products, we would like to know more about your consumption habits.

Is it easy to find organic products in Vietnam (cosmetics, food, etc.)? Where can we find them?

Are organic products more or less expensive than in your country of origin? What average monthly budget do you spend on them?

Can we rely on labels on organic products in Vietnam? Are the origins of the products verified by an organization?

Are organic products part of Vietnamese culture? Have you ever tried to make your own organic products (candles, toothpaste, gardening, food)?

In your opinion, is the consumption of organic products only a fad or does it have real benefits on one’s health?

Thanks for sharing your experience,

Bhavna

Why would a person from the Republic of Mauritius be interested in consumer habits in Vietnam?

Hello jefJones,

Bhavna is a member of the Expat.com team :)

This topic has been launched on the Vietnam forum(just as on other forums) so that members may share their own stories/experience/advice and to also allow them to ask questions related to this subject.

Hope this have been informative & useful to you.

Thanks,

Diksha
Team Expat.com

Thanks for getting this thread started, Bhavna and Diksha. I just moved to Vietnam and would love to hear some expat advice on the reliability of organic branding, where to get organic stuff, etc. I saw organic coconut oil in the Coopmart at a high price ... that's the sum of my experience so far!

I order or buy organic products that are affordable. These are only a few.
From organic food I would buy I only found oatmeal at an affordable price.

There are a few organic grooming products in Asia that deserve the word organic and are still affordable.
There are many "organic" shampoos, shower gels, hand creams, liquid soaps, dishwashing detergents, etc. which have very bad ingredients (e.g. from South Korea).

So don't look at "organic" but browse the list of ingredients.

There are a few products that have only one (or two) questionable ingredients. It is not always the same questionable ingredient why I simply always alternate the product.

I also order certain products from Lazada or Shopee. These are mainly German organic products which cost about four times more than in Germany (but in Germany they are cheap). While shopping online I also found an Italian and a Russian label whose products are still affordable here in Vietnam.

Under affordable (here in Vietnam) I understand e.g. for a Schampoo 100k to 200k for 250 to 400ml.

If you want to find really organic, affordable care products, you simply need a lot of time and patience.

There may be some good origins of organic food in Vietnam but many experts have said it is impossible to grow anything organic because of the toxic pollution of air, water and soil. It is estimated that 60% of all water sources in Asia are toxic. It's possible I suppose there may be some select areas where organic food can be grown.  As far as being assured by any competent agency with oversight that food is organically grown and has no health issues is near impossible in such a climate of corruption and mismanagement.

If organic produce is imported to Vietnam it is probably quite expensive. Perhaps the only way to be sure is to order organic produce shipped directly to your business or home from a reputable supplier.

roy little :

There may be some good origins of organic food in Vietnam but many experts have said it is impossible to grow anything organic because of the toxic pollution of air, water and soil. It is estimated that 60% of all water sources in Asia are toxic. It's possible I suppose there may be some select areas where organic food can be grown.  As far as being assured by any competent agency with oversight that food is organically grown and has no health issues is near impossible in such a climate of corruption and mismanagement.

If organic produce is imported to Vietnam it is probably quite expensive. Perhaps the only way to be sure is to order organic produce shipped directly to your business or home from a reputable supplier.

I feel more comfortable buying fresh food in general from BigC, MM, etc. because I think there are minimal quality and origin monitoring there.
But after a while in Vietnam you get more pragmatic towards food and care products and also towards the bad air. Without this you would go crazy.
Although my wife keeps telling me about bad foodstuffs, I still eat a lot of street food and buy at street markets. But just, every 2 weeks a big shopping in the BigC.

Hey Bhavna!

What is organic? First, I think is the question.

If you think for "organic",  an organic level, like "Bio"
I glad that in Vietnam exist the Communist System and the multinationals
can't put their hands on it, yet.

How can be "organic" or "bio" something in the south where the Land that was cover by "Agent Orange", Glyphosate? 

What is organic..? I saw the Dao, the communities inside Vietnam, and yes! They are more than organic, they are one with Nature. They are not vegans, but still, they are living in a beautiful equilibrium with Nature.

Organic...  They used pesticide, I don't know which, but, is good with the environment and is not an herbicid, like Glyphosate o 2-4, D because you can see in Nature, butterflies, bees, wasp, spiders, the cobras and yes! also I saw a lightning bug!  ...and living "Healthy Happy People" into the farm! Amazing! Unforgettable in these times of Bio-Billons-Deads.-

Vietnam is biodiversity. You can see also in the balconies, in the houses, how people love plants and take time for them... how they live in harmony with them.
So, Jah, Vietnam is organic!

And don't need any labels...

and yes, "Bio Labels" is a business for the Agro industries,
because of that, and the big monopolies,
the small and medium farmers disappear,
and the farmers who produced organic, 
must paid,

and those who made" food of plastic"
go for free and
are protect but the law,
unfair!

Never rely on a label in VN. There are 100 contamination routes. Volunteer or not.

gimenius :

Hey Bhavna!

What is organic? First, I think is the question.

If you think for "organic",  an organic level, like "Bio"
I glad that in Vietnam exist the Communist System and the multinationals
can't put their hands on it, yet.

How can be "organic" or "bio" something in the south where the Land that was cover by "Agent Orange", Glyphosate? 

What is organic..? I saw the Dao, the communities inside Vietnam, and yes! They are more than organic, they are one with Nature. They are not vegans, but still, they are living in a beautiful equilibrium with Nature.

Organic...  They used pesticide, I don't know which, but, is good with the environment and is not an herbicid, like Glyphosate o 2-4, D because you can see in Nature, butterflies, bees, wasp, spiders, the cobras and yes! also I saw a lightning bug!  ...and living "Healthy Happy People" into the farm! Amazing! Unforgettable in these times of Bio-Billons-Deads.-

Vietnam is biodiversity. You can see also in the balconies, in the houses, how people love plants and take time for them... how they live in harmony with them.
So, Jah, Vietnam is organic!

And don't need any labels...

and yes, "Bio Labels" is a business for the Agro industries,
because of that, and the big monopolies,
the small and medium farmers disappear,
and the farmers who produced organic, 
must paid,

and those who made" food of plastic"
go for free and
are protect but the law,
unfair!

It may be that there are a few who live in harmony with nature and a few who care for their plants on their balconies and gardens.
But as I see in my environment, most of the Vietnamese don't give a damn about nature.
Rice fields are burned, waste is burned, plastic is burned, in short everything that has to be out of the way is burned. Waste and harmful construction waste is disposed of in nature. And all this only to save 40k garbage fees per month.

The street and market sellers sell many questionable products, e.g. from China and Vietnam.
Again and again one reads articles about disgusting meat and food pumped with dyestuff and others.

But most Vietnamese don't care much about that.
I often tell my wife to eat healthier.
But she says that she and her parents have always fed themselves this way and still live.
She also says that when she turns 60, that's enough.
As long as there is this attitude to life here in Vietnam, there will be no healthier food.

I am also not happy about the worldwide organic label confusion.
It would need a global organic label which is also strictly controlled.
But in today's age of protectionism such a thing is unthinkable.

In Danang (My An) area we have Healthy Farm shop who sells only local organic produce which we buy every week.

Hello Bhavna ......

Reply to your query for Organic products here in Vietnam, i have given you reply as per my personal experience only


As a consumer in Vietnam, you may seek to maintain a healthy lifestyle by choosing mostly organic products. If you do favor such products, we would like to know more about your consumption habits.

Q > s it easy to find organic products in Vietnam (cosmetics, food, etc.)?
A> Yes it is easy to find Organic products here in Vietnam and here the trend is growing and demand such Products.

Q> Where can we find them?
A> There are many stores now open for such products, exclusive stores which sell only organic products, apart from exclusive stores you can find in Malls too


Q >Are organic products more or less expensive than in your country of origin? What average monthly budget do you spend on them?

A> Here the lifestyle and standard of living is high and products are expensive, for budget depends on my schedule and length of stay ...... but i like Vietnamese products so don't follow strictly on Organic as the standards here are strick with local authorities

Q> Can we rely on labels on organic products in Vietnam? Are the origins of the products verified by an organization?
A> Yes we can Rely on the Labels on organic products here in Vietnam, the laws are very strict.
yes there are agencies who verify the products and such labels contain all the details and number for such products

Q> Are organic products part of Vietnamese culture? Have you ever tried to make your own organic products (candles, toothpaste, gardening, food)?
A> I don't think it is part of culture, here Vietnamese culture is different and follow it in a different way.

No, I have not tried any products to make organic.

Q> In your opinion, is the consumption of organic products only a fad or does it have real benefits on one’s health?
A> Well it is a topic which can be discussed in length, personally i feel the habit and timing is a most important lifestyle for ones health .

muju5152 :

Yes we can Rely on the Labels on organic products here in Vietnam, the laws are very strict.
yes there are agencies who verify the products and such labels contain all the details and number for such products

Can you put that in a little concrete terms?
Which labels?
Which agencies?

I was living in the north, middle and south Vietnam and maybe was not the best expression to say „they like plants“, but, there are in so how part of the culture.

In my view, the hearts and the vaginas of Vietnam are that‘s Trung Sisters Tribus of natives from the North and the South who makes Viet Nam running, who knows hows to respect and live with the plants, animals, and environment in an organic way.

They only kill the spiders upon request „Tourist“.

Yes, the garbage problem, is a „citizen educational problem“ is a problem that muss to resolve the State. The State did not implement it until now, a „Garbage Programm“ to do it right. The garbage request treatment, and request a learning citizen process. Schools, Tv Programs, and so on. Who allows new material to sell it at the market to the citizen? Who muss to say what we do with the rest of that consumption?

You don‘t go to have more problems with the meat and you going to feel healthier if you go vegan.

You said, „It would need a global organic label which is also strictly controlled“.

(...)

By who?

(…)

To who?

The Label of Organic muss NOT EXIST
because nature was first here,

and she is NOT TOXIC.
And have millions of year footer humanity,
and given medicine.

so all-natural products don‘t need labels,
labels need the things that come later,
like
Toxic with biotechnology.

The label of toxic is a request for the safety of the food.
Pesticide and Genetically modified organisms
are not safety food.

They are not enough to test,
that kind of food in the long term
can be healthy for humanity.
They don‘t have all the same vitamins, minerals, proteins, etc.

So.

Who needs the Organic Label?
We need a toxic label (pesticides/herbicides in %)
and GMO label,

we need to know which poison are we put in our mouths!

Gimenius

"In my view, the hearts and the vaginas of Vietnam are that‘s Trung Sisters Tribus of natives from the North and the South who makes Viet Nam running, who knows hows to respect and live with the plants, animals, and environment in an organic way."


Interesting vaginas, never looked at it that way.

Google translate playing up.

gimenius :

...
and GMO label...

This is an even worse problem and can probably not be avoided in the future, since contamination is difficult to prevent.

This is also one of the reasons why TTIP was rejected by Europeans.

gimenius :

They only kill the spiders upon request „Tourist“.

I can confirm that.
My wife even prefers to catch cockroaches and throw them out of the window instead of killing them.

gimenius :

They only kill the spiders upon request „Tourist“.

AkaMaverick :

I can confirm that.
My wife even prefers to catch cockroaches and throw them out of the window instead of killing them.

Cockroaches are killable; I have no problem terminating them.  Big hairy scary poisonous spiders are also killable, but not the baby one.

But I would never bother any common house gecko.

Hi.....I'm in a situation that buys my needs......a local they know where everything may be

Regards Robert

mitch2002 :

Hi.....I'm in a situation that buys my needs......a local they know where everything may be

Regards Robert

Yes, I agree, though don't really understand the meaning.

But that posts makes as much sense as this whole thread.

Why do people insist upon labeling everything with western labels?

WOT

I think that given the frequency with which questions about organic foods and other products come up naturally on this forum, this conversation starter was hardly needed.

Diksha :

This topic has been launched on the Vietnam forum(just as on other forums) so that members may share their own stories/experience/advice and to also allow them to ask questions related to this subject.

AkaMaverick :

Rice fields are burned....

Burning of rice straw is an explainable practice.  In areas like California where one rice crop is grown per year, farmers can rely on natural decomposition of rice straw during the fall and winter.  Also horsepower (which is fossil fuel carbon released) is needed to bury stubble.  By contrast, the carbon released by burning is recaptured with each crop.

In areas like Vietnam where 2-3 crops of rice are grown in a year, rice stubble is burned to avoid the cost of repeated tillage.  The other problem is that if plowed under, the organic matter in stubble will tie up nitrogen short term.  If allowed to fallow, this nitrogen will become available but it takes time.  It is nitrates vs. nitrites and being a former farmer rather than a scientist, I never can keep them straight.  :/  Also phosphorous and potassium are if anything made more available through burning.  The bottom line is that the Vietnamese rice farmer does not have time to wait. 

Another thing that burning does is help eliminate both insect and fungal pests.  These present constant problems for farmers anywhere in the tropics where there is no winter kill.  Stubble plowed under is the perfect breeding ground for many pests and plant diseases.  While burning of stubble may be questionable in the temperate zone, it has definite benefits in the tropics.

Another thing that burning does is help eliminate both insect and fungal pests.  These present constant problems for farmers anywhere in the tropics where there is no winter kill.  Stubble plowed under is the perfect breeding ground for many pests and plant diseases.  While burning of stubble may be questionable in the temperate zone, it has definite benefits in the tropics.

Very interesting! Thank you!

Trust but verify.  Everything is fake here. Anything that is branded cost too much for anyone to buy.

By the time any organic food arrives at the market it has been handled several times and the temptation to relabel or somehow corrupt the product to make a few Dong is just too tempting.

e.g. Pepper with gravel and battery acid. Plastic or cardboard noodles.

Honesty and hygiene are not the greatest values in Vietnam.

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