couponing in the holy land

Frugal food shopping for the Anglo Israeli

Archive for the tag “organic”

2+1 Harduf organic products- expires 30 November 2015

This month in Shufersal…


Tu B’shevat- did we make aliyah or not?

Tu B’shevat has come, the holiday for the trees- the almond tree is blossoming- and we are eating dried fruit from Turkey.  WHAT? That is not how the song goes.  Tu B’shevat is not a well-celebrated holiday in chul- it is still generally very cold, nobody lives near an almond tree, and planting a tree in Cleveland/Cornwall/Capetown isn’t as exciting as planting in KKL forests.  Some of us ate dried fruits (remember that carob/bokser?), some of us ate the seven species, but most of us rushed past the holiday to get ready for Purim and (gasp) Pesach.

This year is different.  We are in Israel.  The trees are flowering.  The citrus is sweet and juicy.  Youth groups are taking kids on tiyulim.  Some of us even have a seder.  But many of us are still eating those dried fruits from Turkey.  WHY??  We now have access to beautiful locally produced fresh fruit that our ancestors could only dream about.  They might even be growing in your yard!  So why not eat them?  For example, we will be having this big rimon that we found at Rami Levy:


We will also be having several “Sweeties”-a mix between a grapefruit and a pomelo- in my opinion, one of the best Israeli inventions of all time.  Don’t forget other “ha’etz” Israeli products such as olives and top it off with a glass of Israeli wine.

If you find it incredibly difficult to break the dried fruit habit, at least look out for Israeli dried fruits, many of which are organic.  We picked up these badatz  dates in Rami Levy:


Kibbutz Neot Smadar also has organic produce such as apricots, almonds and raisins:


So whatever your minhag, whatever your hashgacha, Israeli fruits are the answer.  I am probably writing this a little late to change your mind this year, but at least it will be food for thought for next Tu B’shevat.  We were fortunate enough to make it to Israel- let’s not ignore what we have been blessed to receive.

Aliyah tip #8- Are you sure that food is organic?

Making the commitment to eat only organic food is not something easily done when you have a tight budget.  Unfortunately, healthier food seems to always be more expensive than processed junk food, and organic produce is no exception.  Israel is a major exporter of organic produce to the EU- 13% of our exported produce is organic, which translated to 85,504 tons of vegetables, 2192 tons of fruits, and 2230 tons of citrus in 2013.   It might surprise you to learn that until 2008 there was no legislation governing organic produce- for example what conditions it can be grown under, what products can be used on organic fruits and vegetables and what symbols are acceptable to identify organic produce.  Since the new law was passed in 2005 (it did not come into effect until 2008) these issues have all been addressed as well as a penalty for falsely labeling a product as organic when it is not.  The law has been written in English and Hebrew so feel free to follow the link and read for yourself.

All produce that is certified organic in Israel must have the Ministry of Agriculture’s symbol, shown here:

In addition, each certified organic product must have the symbol of the certifying agency that inspected the operator.  There are three approved agencies and their symbols are shown below.

In order to ensure that these foods are truly produced without unapproved chemicals such as pesticides, the Ministry of Agriculture samples fresh fruits and vegetables as well as processed foods such as bread and rice cakes and submits them for laboratory analysis.  The results of those tests have recently been published and it is good news for organic consumers.  When products were first tested in 2009, 24% showed the presence of unapproved chemicals.  In 2010 the percentage dropped to 8.6%; 2011 went down further to 3.6%, 2012 went back up to 6.8% and 2013 again showed a downturn to 3.8%.

Since Israel exports organic produce to the EU, it is subject to periodic auditing from the Food and Veterinary Office of the European Commission.  In 2013 they performed an audit on the production of organic produce in Israel.  The full report can be found on their web site along with the Israeli government’s response.  Overall they were satisfied with the Israeli legislation (which is based on the European legislation) and its implementation.  They felt that Israel’s sampling technique and the amounts sampled should be improved as well as the quality of inspections performed at the producer level.  They did find the presence of certain illegal pesticides which the Israeli government agreed to enforce more strongly.  One comment I did find disturbing was that the Europeans were dissatisfied that “foreign” produce was intermingling with Israeli produce and being labeled as Israeli produce.  What is this “foreign” produce?  Produce that comes from the West Bank- Yehuda and Shomron.  What was Israel’s response?  That this matter is an issue for the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture and the European Commission to decide.  Once it is agreed upon at that level, it will be implemented on the “ground level”.

For a list of products that can be used on organic produce, click on the Organic Pesticide Publication (Hebrew/English)

Sources: Ynetsimun_tozeret_organit

Food Sales/News Roundup 2 April 2014

Some interesting tidbits from Wednesday’s paper:

  • Starkist is now offering a six-pack of tuna at a special price.  Look for it in your local supermarket. (KLP- kitniot)
  • For those of you who prefer Concord grape juice, You supermarket has a 650 ml bottle of Kedem on sale for 9.90 shekels.  You can buy up to three bottles.  Expires 14 Apr 2014.  To find your local You store, go to their web site.
  • Tomorrow, April 4, from 8:30 am you can go into the Mega BaIr in Kfar Yonah, Raanana, Kiryat Ono and Tel Aviv, taste the  dessert that made it to the Masterchef finals and help choose the winner! For more information, go to their Facebook page.
  • Shufersal Deal has a great deal on their brand of tuna: a four-pack of tuna in oil for only 15 shekels.  Expires 4 Apr 2014.  Must spend 100 shekels to get the lower price.
  • The Shufersal Green organic market has a whole bunch of KLP gluten free products on sale: Gnocchi for 10 shekels, rice noodles, “Explore Asian” soy or bean noodles, or “Sam Mills Pasta d’oro” corn pasta all at 2 for 15 shekels.  They also have whole wheat organic matzah for 20 shekels a box.   Expires 21 April 2014.  Not all stores will have these sales- check before you go.
  • Co-op shop is offering up to 3 kg of carrots, eggplant, cucumber, onion, cabbage and romaine lettuce or up to 4 kg of potatoes for 0.90 shekels per kg.  Must spend at least 100 shekels in the store.  You can mix and match but can only purchase up to 3 heads of lettuce.  Expires 7 Apr 2014.
  • Misrad HaChinuch is showcasing the new summer camp menu:
    • a sandwich or roll made with whole grain bread,
    • a protein (tuna, yellow cheese, white cheese, or cottage cheese) with no more than 5% fat
    • a water bottle for each child
    • fruits and vegetables
  • Eden Teva Market has organic vegetables on sale for 5 shekels a piece/kg, depending on the item.  Price is for moadon members only.  Limited to 2 kg or 2 pieces per person per day.  Expires 4 Apr 2014.


Adama organic dried fruits coupon- expires 28 Feb 2013

Click here to get a 15% off coupon for Adama organic dried fruits.


Eden Teva’s”Two Better Sale”

Mega has the 8 Days of Chanukah sale, so Eden Teva has to do two better- the ten shekel sale.

Until tomorrow, December 16, you can purchase the following items for 10 shekels:

  1. Two containers of cottage cheese
  2. One liter of organic milk
  3. One container of organic tehina
  4. Two packages of organic pasta
  5. One package of organic chicken soup mix
  6. One loaf of Aluma organic bread
  7. One bottle of Rimonim or Shemen Zayit Shampoo/Liquid Soap/Conditioner
  8. One container of ecologically-safe dish liquid or liquid to wash the floors
  9. Two cans of Star Kist 99 calories flavored tuna
  10. One package of Osem soup nuts.

Minimum purchase: 100 shekels of non-sale items

Limit 3 sale items per person.

Let’s hope next time they give us a little more notice…

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