Co-op II – Organic Vegetables and Lunch Food

    CONTRIBUTED BY KAHO

    I wrote about Co-op a couple of weeks ago and said that the Co-op stores carry organic vegetables.  For those of you who do not read Japanese, it’s hard to find what are organic and what are not.  So, here I am to show you how you can find them.

    Try to look for the stickers.  I put pictures of three different kinds of stickers for your reference.  When I went to the Co-op on the Gate 5 Street (I don’t know the real name of this street.), those organic vegetables were placed on the left side of the entrance glass door.

    Here are the close up pictures of the “organic” labels.  I hope these help.

    Coop_veggies_2_2

    Coop_veggies_3_2

    Coop_veggies_4_2

    Coop_veggies

    My daughter goes to a pre-school and I have to make lunch for her twice a week.  I use Japanese frozen food specifically made for lunch box.  There are a lot of convenient frozen foods you can buy at coop to make your cooking for lunch box in the morning easy!

    Coop_bento

    The pictures are packages of frozen vegetables dishes, shumai dumplings, pumpkin croquets, and fried rice.  Shumai dumplings, pumpkin croquets, and fried rice can be prepared by heating them in a micro-wave.

    My favorite is the vegetable dishes that you can just put in a bento (‘lunch box’ in Japanese) box frozen and let it thaw.  No need for heating it before packing.  By lunch time, it’s thawed and ready to be eaten.  The picture below is two examples of this type of food.  Isn’t this brilliant?

    Coop_bento_2

    I hope that these are helpful!

    15 COMMENTS

    1. there are also frozen tubes (I know, nothing says “fresh/organic” quite like “tube meat”) of hormone/antibiotic free beef in the Commissary freezer section, but I don’t remember if it is also grass fed.

    2. Linda,
      Not sure about the San A, but the commissary carries bison that is hormone and antibiotic free. Taste like beef, but better.

    3. I will be moving to Okinawa in May and was curious if any of the Okinawan Supermarkets San A sell grass fed beef and/or free range chicken??

    4. Kandy,
      I am so excited and have been looking for weeks for my favorite soy product. Thank you for the information. I cant wait to find some.

    5. Why didn’t I see this post before? I’ve been just dying for some peaches. I hope since they’re in season I can find some organic ones.

    6. I just went to Foster commissary today (sorry this is not about Co-Op) and found Yobaby organic yogurt. It’s ridiculous how happy I was about this. Not sure how long they’ve been carrying it but I figured I would post it in case this is a new development.

    7. That’s awesome! Kumon works. Cool. “Yanbaru” is a name of the area north of Nago where there is much green in the mountains. The eggs are from there, I believe. I like to support local products or if not, produces from closer prefectures to Okinawa because products from closer places use less energy to ship items and that is environmentally friendly. 🙂 I’m glad that you have gone to Coop to shop!

    8. Kaho, I’ve been taking Japanese at Kumon and I’ve pretty much learned my hiragana sounds. Yesterday, the “yanbaru” eggs were the only ones I could read, so that’s what I bought! How lucky!

    9. Bambi> You’re welcome! Good luck with your son’s pre-school. I think once he starts understanding the language and making friends, he’ll like it.

      Aviva> Good point. Pictures of fish. I’ll try to bring my camera to the store next time to take pictures of fish.

      Joelle> I love Okinawa tofu. It’s saltier than the one you get on the Main Land Japan. Fresh one is the best. I think that they only have fresh ones made on the same day.

      EM stands for Effective Microorganism which was invented for a more Sustainable Agriculture, Environment and Society. I always buy one that says “Yanbaru” in hiragana since that is from Okinawa and seems to use the natural food to raise chickens. Somewhat close to organic I believe. I sometimes go to a local organic store called “ANEW” to buy organic eggs. I’ll write about the store in the future.

    10. Many blessings on Kaho! 🙂 I just got back from the co-op on Momoyama dori (out gate 5) and had to say how nice it was to have all the organic veg together — I normally spend so long looking at every label! But had to mention how excited I was (easily excited, I know) about the FRESH tofu — and I mean warm-in-the-bag kind of fresh. There were even times listed on a little sign — don’t know if that indicated when it was made today or what? But so cool.

      One question about eggs, Kaho. Is there an easy way to tell if any of them are free range or anything like that? I bought some brown ones today and have bought “EM” ones before, but I don’t really know what I’m doing — I just know they taste better than the pale yoked ones from the commissary.

    11. Kaho, you could post any day you want – this is extremely helpful and the exact kind of thing that helps those of us who can’t read the labels! Fantastic post!

      I’d love it if you could do a few of the fish sometime – I can tell what kind of veggie it is by looking, but with fish – unless it’s tuna or salmon – I have no clue. Whenever you head to Co-op again, if you could get a few pictures of the fish labels and tell us what they are? That’d be fantastic!

      I think when Mia was 7 weeks I was still happy just to make it out of the house once in a day – or put on a shirt without milk stains on it…. you’re amazing, Kaho. Hope it’s going well!

    12. Wow, so helpful!!! I had no idea that you could buy lunch box items in the frozen section!! Makes that job a lot easier (of course, I still have 1 year until that happens seeing as how my little one is only 2). However, we are talking about registering our son for 1st grade in town and he would start in April (ok, we have to convince him he wants to do it. We are convinced, but he isn’t. He’s scared to leave english and enter japanese!). Thanks for the useful advice

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