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Almaty Kazakhstan (Part IV):
23 April (Tuesday)
Clear back in China, Miwa suggested that I should investigate the “organic market” as its own unique theme in my EurAsia journey. Why not - I'm on holiday with time to chase any idea however obscure. It will be a good way to engage with locals.
With only Google search as my ally, I typed in organic stores in Xi'an and the results came back as health stores. Well, a health-food store is not the same as an organic store, but one was near my hotel so I went out looking. It seemed that this "health-food" store was mostly a pharmacy now.
Almaty provided better results. Many organic stores appeared in my Google search, but my first visit was more of a speciality food store - wine, chocolate and cheese - I think the shop was owned by an Italian family.
The next was called Organic Food but it looked like a deli. The single staff behind the counter had some English and so I asked her if the meat was organic - no neither the fresh sausage nor the frozen chicken was organic. What about all this package food. No, that was not either. She had some dairy - cheese and yogurt and such refrigerated - that she assured me was organic. Right next door was the Green Village with lots of beautifully presented produce. The woman running it seemed unfriendly and so I did not venture further.
Finally, a store with a very difficult KZ name had all the right packages - real organic food is packaged in a simple manner - and two very friendly assistants that happily allowed me to take pictures of the entire store and even them – Beautiful smiles. Pretty girls. They said the owner had her own organic food brand that she sold in the store but there were other brands as well. So, here are pictures of the journey and pictures of the only organic store I have found, so far, in Central Asia.