I just went to La Universidad Agraria La Molina and from my understanding they don't have organic chicken, and for sure they don't have organic turkey, eggs, or yogurt.
I didn't ask about the beef (although I did see organic beef at the Wongs at Ovalo Gutierrez). The man behind the counter at La Molina said the poultry was organic, but that's not usually an indicator of if it's organic or not. The sign said "ecologico", which I've heard is organic in Peru but most U.S. websites say it's not organic. I went to check on campus and went to the place they work with poultry. I had a conversation with the woman there and she sounded clear and honest and said it was not organic. I was going to try the ecologico chicken but the man behind the counter seemed apathetic and disinterested and was changing the story about if they had ecologico chicken or not and was of almost no help. A woman who also worked there then jumped in, I believe saying they did have it, and the guy finally went to get some poultry but then said it wasn't ecological. Long story short it wasn't a good experience, I didn't buy anything, and I don't think I'll be returning. A customer said they sometimes have organic produce, though not much, some tomatoes and a few things, but they had none when I was there.
I also passed some cows in the university area in a mud, probably more feces then mud by the smell of it, squared off, roofed in, relatively smallish size area with no vegetation (not real small but not big). The cows looked sickly and had things dripping from their eyes and noses. I wouldn't dream of eating yogurt from them. I don't know if they were dairy or beef cows, or perhaps a pen of sick cows.
And I've heard this from enough people to assume it's true but it sounds like Lima dumps raw sewage into the ocean (that's 10 million people). I've been weary of eating fish here. Some people who work in the fish markets have said they fish much further out, but again I'd need proof or I'd need to hear it from a person who has a history of being honest, knowledgeable, and not financially tied the situation. So I don't have proof they fish further out and I don't know how far out they would need to fish to make a difference. I did find a guy who worked in a large, expensive, supermarket chain, who seemed like a manager, was doing things in the fish section, who seemed honest, talked with me for a while, and his answers were consistent. He told me some of the fish was from Chile and from the ocean (doesn't mean it's true but it's plausible). However, and I have no idea why, I felt bad after I ate that as well. I've tried many times adding the fish to my diet and didn't feel good after I ate it and I get the same blemishes on my face, and I feel better and the blemishes leave when I remove the fish. The only thing I can think of is some times they put preservatives on fish but don't say that (not necessarily at the market, it can be in other stages of processing). In the U.S. I can sort through all this if I don't feel well after I eat something and have found good quality places to buy from. I felt fine eating the fish in the rural areas I was in, although after hearing people say some of the fish from the rivers in Peru is high in mercury from logging and mining, I looked it up and found a scientific study confirming this. So I'm not eating the river fish. I have allergies, that's why I've spent so much time and energy on this and am writing about it in case anyone else needs the information. It's taken me over a year and a lot of work. I feel awesome when I'm eating organic whole foods but crummy right away when I eat preservatives, chemicals, pesticides, meat with hormones, etc.
Again, I don't say this to be hurtful, but descriptively, many people do not look well in Lima and people seem to age incredibly fast (along with other parts of Peru). I see very, very, few people glow with health and I don't think I've seen any older person who glows with health (unless their out by the Malecon and look like a tourist with a family, but that's just my opinion, that's not data). I realize there are many factors involved in this but the incredibly high rate of people who don't look healthy leads me to believe it's something systemic. And I felt very healthy while in the States and haven't felt well since shortly after I got here. I'm trying to figure out if I need to leave or not, but I'm not willing to stay if it compromises my health. If anyone finds a place with organic poultry raised in healthy conditions or if they know of ocean fish that are from safe sources without preservatives, please let me know.
My hope is also if there are unhealthy things in the food sources people can find out what they are so all people who live here can have the opportunity to be and stay healthy. (Also something for expats to think about if they've been here for a year or two or so and are feeling less energy, less optimistic, maybe getting sick more often, not feeling great, it could be the food taking it's toll physically.)
And I don't believe all the food has to be certified organic. I've been in rural areas and after I know people, through multiple conversations with different people confirming facts, I can piece together who has small farms without pesticides or naturally raised Gallina without hormones. And some of the natural organic produce is incredible. It's just difficult to get a wide variety of organic foods in the rural areas, and in Lima I can't find the meats. And if I'm in the city and I can't confirm the details and it's difficult to know what might be organic vs. deception or the belief it's almost all organic, which again is completely false. For example:http://www.peruviantimes.com/19/toxic-p ... ons/23786/ Toxic Pesticides Still Allowed in New Agriculture Regulations"The Ministry of Agriculture recently approved regulations that authorize the continued use of two types of chemical pesticides that the World Health Organization, WHO, has classified as “toxic” and “very toxic.”
An added danger of these toxic substances is the poor information and training given on their use, and incidents of food poisoning —sometimes leading to death— are frequent in rural areas where pesticides are often stored in the same area as foodstuffs."