Europe uses the term “bio”, and in English, these products are called “organic”. Different words to mean the same: products produced without the use of synthetic pesticides, fertilisers, growth regulators, artificial food additives or genetically modified foods (GMOs). For organic meat, the animals are not fed with growth stimulants, antibiotics, hormones, and they are not subjected to stress during raising and transportation. Processed foods do not contain artificial flavourings and colours. Why is it important? Because “we are what we eat”. The experiments of eating food filled with artificial chemicals, sugars and hormones have brought sad results, for example, high obesity and diabetes rates in the US
Fortunately, things are much better in Europe. On the French Riviera, the climate is soft and the food is delicious and healthy. However, if you shop for vegetables, fruit, meat and fish at a regular grocery store in Monaco, whether at U Marché, Casino or Carrefour supermarkets, the produce is mostly grown with a use of conventional, intensive methods. Thus we constantly consume a dose of alien chemicals, antibiotics and hormones. Just take two apples – one from a usual store and the other grown in a village, the difference in taste will be clear, won’t it?
Carrefour supermarket has a good choice of its “Seasonal Organic” produce. They have a section with the sign “Le Marche de Saison – Notre selection Bio”. You can buy everything here – fresh salad, delicious apples, the right potatoes, crunchy carrots, weighed and packed for you by the polite staff. Just next to it you will find a section of pre-packaged fruit and vegetables, which also promise you a “bio” quality.
The supermarket also offers a selection of organic foods from bio-yogurts and dairy, to the farmer’s chicken, to quinoa cereal spread across other departments. All in all, Carrefour is good for its selection of organic foods.
Carrefour Monaco in Fontvieille shopping centre
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday, from 08:30 am to 9:30 pm, open on Sunday before bank holidays
Many Monaco residents give their preference to a healthy lifestyle. This trend originates from educated and wealthy individuals who can afford to think and care about their health. This has given rise to specifically organic markets, like Solis Bio, found under the Condamine market roof. It has been very popular for the last few years.
This small shop has everything you need if you have a healthy and environmentally friendly lifestyle: fruits and vegetables, whole grains and gluten-free products, refrigerated organic dairy products, sprouted seeds and homeopathic remedies. It was the first market to sell kale in Monaco, a special type of dark green leafy cabbage, extremely popular in the US. This was instantly appreciated by the English-speaking audience of “Monaco Moms” Facebook page. One of the shop’s few disadvantages is the Principality’s ever present problem with parking. That is why it is mainly popular among the Condamine residents.
Bio Solis Monaco, Condamine Market, entrance from Terrazzan street;
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday, from 09:30 to 19:00, with a break on Saturday from 13:00 to 15:00.
Another great bio store is “La Vie Claire” – a French network of bio-stores, opened in summer 2013 in Beausoleil, right on the border with Monaco. The shop is perfectly located next to a popular city market and serves the residents on both sides of the border.
The biggest advantage of this store is that you can find everything. Fruit, vegetables, healthy cookies, a variety of cereals, a huge section of alcohol (all organic!), meat and dairy products, dog food, and household cleaning products. Last but not the least, they offer great fresh, gluten-free bread, baked with quinoa, rice and corn flours. The staff is very friendly and the store itself is modern and well organized. “La Vie Claire” has already opened 220 shops throughout France.
La Vie Claire, avenue General de Gaulle, 1, Beausoleil 06240
tel. 04 93 86 20 94
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday, from 09:00 to 19:00, Sunday from 09:00 to 13:00
There are a couple of new places where you can buy or eat bio food:
Restaurant “Eqvita” 7 Rue du Portier, 98000 Monaco, https://eqvitarestaurant.com/
Organic Detox bar, 14 Allée Lazare Sauvaigo, 98000 Monaco, https://organicdetoxbar.com/
And where do you prefer to do your grocery shopping, and why?