Health food shops in the Netherlands
Looking for a little more variety in whole foods than what the Albert Heijn or any other standard supermarket in the Netherlands has to offer? Then you’re in luck! Read on to find out about a few of the various health food shops this country has to offer.
Living the whole food lifestyle
At your local supermarket, you will find a variety of organic products and groceries, which cater to those of us with intolerances or special diets. However, this depends entirely on the specific supermarket and its size, usually the bigger the supermarket, the more product options you will find. However, if you really want to make a go of the whole food lifestyle, you may have to look elsewhere to get some of your groceries.
Holland & Barrett
Previously, this shop was called De Tuinen, however, it now goes by Holland & Barrett. If you are looking for fresh fruit and veg, this is not the place to go. But if you want to supplement your usual groceries with superfoods or dried fruits and nuts, this may well be the go-to store.
In addition to dried foods, you will also be able to find a great variety of gluten-free products, breakfast cereals, teas and snacks, as well as supplements, and products especially focussed on sports nutrition. That isn’t all; Holland & Barrett also offer a vast range of natural personal care products such as body washes, lotions, face creams and shampoos.
What’s great about Holland & Barrett is that they often have offers on, such as buy one get one free or buy one and get the second item for a penny. And for all you vegans out there, they have over 250 toiletries that contain no animal products, from toothpaste to body butter.
Little Plant Pantry
This shop is Amsterdam’s first plastic-free bulk store, and can be found in the centre of the city. But for those who can’t make it to the shop (which features a gorgeous little vegan cafe), then Little Plant Pantry also has an online shop to help ensure you can eat healthily and sustainably.
The store offers everything from oils and spices to cheeses, all sold loosely or in environmentally-friendly packaging. On top of this, they also have a selection of ready-made meals available for take away, and an on-site vegan cafe which sells a variety of freshly made meals and drinks. In addition to food, the shop also sells a range of handcrafted products such as handmade cosmetics and hygiene products, all from small artisan producers.
Similarly to Natuurwinkel, here you can also do your weekly grocery shopping, and choose from an array of organic products. Ekoplaza also offers plastic-free products, either completely free from plastic packaging or with packaging that may look like plastics but is certifiably compostable. So, great for all you environment lovers out there looking to reduce your plastic footprint.
In the same vein, Ekoplaza is the first supermarket in the Netherlands to be completely BPA free. BPA is a plasticiser and can be found in products and packaging such as plastic bottles, tuna tins, receipts and Tupperware. The supermarket does not make any compromises to ensure that it can offer its products at increasingly lower prices and tries to get its produce locally as often as possible, saving many unnecessary food miles.
Don’t feel like travelling to the supermarket? Well, you’re in luck, as you can order your organic groceries online at Ekoplaza or via their app. What’s more, their app has an ingredient scanner which you can use on all products, not just ones from their supermarket, to see whether they contain hidden E-numbers, plastics or chemicals. For example, whether your toothpaste contains micro-plastics. The app will then give the product a traffic light colour, red to green, allowing you to make an informed decision about said product.
Odin is another organic supermarket chain with shops across the Netherlands. It is a cooperation that checks every link in the food chain, so you know exactly where your food comes from. In the supermarket, 98% of all products are 100% organic, so you will only find fresh fruit and vegetables which are in season.
This supermarket believes that with every euro you spend on groceries, you make a choice and, for some part, shape the world. Odin not only buys from farmers; it also has its own farm and beekeepers. You may notice that, unlike the Albert Heijn, almost all fresh fruit and vegetables do not come in packaging. You can also make the choice between plastic, paper or your own bag when it comes to packaging bread in the store.
As with Ekoplaza, if you don’t want to venture to the store, you can always order online and, currently, on your first order, you can get a 20 euros discount using their discount code, which is valid until December 31, 2018. Another cool thing that Odin offers is a subscription for fruit and vegetables. With this, you can get, for example, a small vegetable and fruit bag with at least three sorts of vegetables and two kinds of fruits for just 8,75 euros per week.
The kinds of vegetables and fruits delivered vary weekly and come with recipes and instructions for preparing them. These subscriptions won’t disappoint, as they don’t only include your standard carrots and potatoes, they offer an array of vegetables and fruits you may never have heard of before.
Eating organic in the Netherlands
The aforementioned organic stores can be found all over the Netherlands; however, this doesn’t mean that there are no other options in your Dutch city / town. Make sure you keep your eye out for local stores selling organic produce and visit open-air markets to buy fresh goods from the market. Not everything you get at the market will be organic; so don’t forget to ask before you buy.