My life, Travel Tips

Organic Life in Chinatown NYC

You would think that, having been here for almost two weeks now, I’ve probably been out, exploring and ‘touristing’ all day every day, but actually, I don’t know where the time has gone!

As much as I had planned for long day trips and tourist-trap outings, our first week or so in the big apple hasn’t been quite so adventurous. Mr H has been almost bed-bound with a knee injury and so we’re taking it easy instead. It’s not all bad though – I’ve been exploring the local area alone and bringing him back treats that I probably wouldn’t have been allowed to buy if he had been with me in the first place! It’s also allowed us to figure out how to really ‘live’ here…

Back home, we live as much of a clean, organic lifestyle as possible – we shop at a local organic wholefood co-op, drink milk from a local raw milk dairy, and try to eat as unrefined as possible. It turns out, this kind of lifestyle is much easier to live out here!

Organic Food

I woke up on our first morning in Manhattan with food on the brain and, within minutes, googled myself the directions to a small grocery store within a 5 minute walk from our apartment. I was kind of worried that being slap bang in the middle of Chinatown, I was going to find it difficult to find my standard food items but I really thought I’d hit the jackpot with this store. Seriously! – not only is it super close to where we live, but….it’s an ORGANIC STORE! How lucky is that?!


Ok, it’s only got a few options for organic fruit and veg, but it’s a start. And it’s full of organic cupboard items like tinned tomatoes etc. AND they sell organic sourdough bread (yum!) and had a fridge full of organic milk to sustain Mr H’s milk addiction for a few days. I’m not kidding – this man goes through about 2l of milk a day and I was not prepared to carry those kinda quantities much further than this for him!

As for finding a main source for our fruit and veg, our host also suggested Trader Joe’s turning to the big stores – Wholefoods and Trader Joe’s (luxurys we don’t get in the UK!). Before we could even make it to the store, we stumbled across a huge farmers market with exactly the kind of produce we were looking for! It’s called Greenmarket, run by GrowNYC and they have loads of locations across the city, all through the week over the summer. This one happend to be in Union Square, about a half an hour walk north from Chinatown. We could not have asked for a better source for our food – the stalls were packed with organic and biodynamic produce, raw honeys, sprouted grains and fresh breads. I even found a stall (Hawthorne Valley) selling raw cheddar with a passable texture! If you are into this way of eating and you happen to be in NYC, check out the Gorzynski Ornery Farm on a Saturday – the guy talking to us was super helpful and the standards they hold for growing their food is a step up on the organic scale…super organic if you will. They also sell fresh, organic, free-range eggs! Yay! Another box ticked off our list!


Manhattan actually happens to be full of organic shops apparently, and I’ve been pretty impressed with the options available for organic food. East Village Organic in particular, has a huge selection of produce for sale and I was able to pick up some organic chilli peppers – something I’d been looking for for a while! I’ve also heard good things about LifeThyme Natural Market but haven’t been to check it out yet.


Ok, as I already mentioned, Mr H is a milk guzzling machine and we generally prefer to drink raw milk for all kinds of health benefits etc that I’ll get into in another post if neccessary!

I had already done my research in advance and, as hard as it was to find, there is a company that delivers raw milk and all sorts of other healthy goodies straight to your door! If you or anyone in New York is looking for raw milk, Udder Milk  is the place you want to look at. As long as you place an order by Thursday, you will get your milk/cheese/saurkraut etc delivered to you by Saturday. We just received our first batch and have already almost finished off our block of cheese! The milk is delicious – so fresh and creamy and I can actually drink it without worrying about all the hormones and synthetic vitamins they load dairy with out here (why is all the milk out here fortified with calcium/vit D/vit A!?). Also I feel better about myself knowing I’m not contributing to hormone injected cow tears (see cowspiracy).

As for our other essentials, our AirBnb apartment has a water filter fitted into the tap – bonus! We prefer not to drink tap water if possible because of the heavy metals/chlorine etc but this is perfect and is going to save us a lot of money that would have been spent on bottled water!

So far so good. Settling into an organic lifestyle seems to be very easy to do out here! The UK could probably learn a thing or two from New York! 🙂


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