Finding healthy organic ("biologisch") food in Amsterdam and Netherlands is quite straight forward.
This article takes a look at natural health-food stores and farmer's markets in Amsterdam. Note that the major supermarkets also stock a limited range of organic foods.
If you are looking for a listing of organic restaurants then go here: Organic Restaurants in Amsterdam
|When buying organic you should look for the "EKO" symbol which is granted to products containing over 95% organic ingredients by Dutch inspection-certification body SKAL (roughly equivalent to the Soil Association in the UK). There is also the orange "demeter" symbol which signifies bio-dynamic products.|
In the natural food stores in Netherlands you will find a wide range of organic food products available - from fruits and vegetables, fish, meat and dairy, fair trade coffee and teas, breads, pastas and grains, gluten-free products, sweet items, drinks (including organic wines and beers) - in fact anything you need for a complete meal! They also sell household and personal care products as well.
If you wish to have a regular organic (fruit and veg) package there is a national scheme run by an organisation called Odin.
You have the choice of the following weekly packages: vegetable small pack (€8.75), veg large pack (€11.75), fruit small pack (€8.75), small "1 person" combi fruit + veg (€8.75), large "family" combi fruit + veg (€15.75).
The fruit and veg is sourced both locally and (for more variety) from the Mediterranean - mainly Italy and Spain - which is transported by road and not by air.
The package can be ordered from any participating health food shop. You pick up the package weekly on a specific day and you always have to pay a week in advance. It is possible to skip week(s) if you are away on holiday.
If you live in Netherlands then this scheme should be considered - you will be supporting local producers and smaller local shops - as well as eating healthy, quality organic produce. Pop into your local health store to order an Odin package - check Odin's website here - click "afhaalpunt" to find participating stores.
Farmer's Markets in Amsterdam
There are regular organic farmer's markets ("boerenmarkt") held in Amsterdam.
Noordermarkt (Jordaan) - Saturdays 0900 to 1600
Nieuwmarkt (centre) - Saturdays 0900 to 1700
Haarlemmerplein (west) - Wednesdays 1000 to 1700
The markets have a pleasant atmosphere.
De Pure Markt - Large Sunday market event which takes place at 2 locations every month in the south of Amsterdam (at Frankendael Park and Amstel Park) although it is not so active during the winter. Some stalls sell organic produce. See our What's On in Amsterdam section for specific dates.
Natural Health Food Stores (natuur winkels) in Amsterdam
Estafette is one of our favourite organic food stores with 18 locations throughout Netherlands. The staff are friendly and they usually have good offers running on a weekly basis. There are 4 stores in the Amsterdam area: Ceintuurbaan 220 (De Pijp/Zuid), 2e H. de Grootstraat 9-11 (Westerpark), Oostelijke Handelskade 1043 (Zeeburg) and Bos en Lommerweg 261 (Bos en Lommer) - all offer the Odin packages.
Biomarkt is a health-food store at Weteringschans 133-137, near Wetering Circuit/Heineken brewery. They also have a counter selling supplements and cosmetics.
Deshima Natural Food Shop is found at Weteringschans 65 (near Paradiso/Leidseplein) and specialises in organic, macrobiotic and vegan foods. Part of the Kushi Institute of Europe, they sell a wide variety of rice/noodles/cereals/grains/nuts, Japanese kitchenware plus a good selection of books. There is also a snack counter selling sushi, salads, sandwiches and soups.
Organic Food For You is an up-market health food store with 2 shops in Amsterdam - one at Vijzelstraat 129 (not far from Muntplein), the other at Cornelis Schuytstraat 26/28 (off De Lairessestraat in Museum Quarter).
Eko Plaza is a chain of organic supermarkets which has 11 locations in Amsterdam. The shops were formerly called Natuur Winkel. These large stores have a comprehensive assortment of organic products including fruit/veg, meats, bread, grains, drinks and also supplements and cosmetics.
Amsterdam locations are Waterlooplein 131, Elandsgracht 118 (Jordaan), Haarlemmerdijk 160-164 (near Westerpark), 1e Constantijn Huygensstraat 49-55 (near Leidseplein/Overtoom), J.P. Heijestraat 105-109 (off Kinkerstraat), Van Woustraat 80-82 (De Pijp), Van Swindenstraat 30-36 (Oost), A.J. Ernststraat 665 (Buitenveldert), Scheldestraat 53 (Rivierenbuurt), Marathonweg 1-5 (near Olympic Stadium) and Osdorpplein 620 (Osdorp). Most central stores are open on Sundays.
Marqt is a high-end supermarket which sells some organic goods. Locations at Overtoom 21 and Utrechtsestraat 17 - strangely they will not accept cash.
Simon Lévelt is a specialist store selling their own branded organic teas and coffee. It has 5 locations in Amsterdam: Ferdinand Bolstraat 154 (De Pijp), Prinsengracht 180 (centre), Stationsplein 15 (central station), Kinkerstraat 109 (Oud-West), Jodenbreestraat 20 (near Rembrandt house).
Major supermarkets in Amsterdam (such as Albert Heijn) sell a reasonable range of organic products although you get the feeling this is more a marketing strategy to sell higher margin produce rather than from a pure ethical stance.