Well here is my first stop in the Mindful Consuming. Now I might have some facts wrong so I hope I will be corrected.
Santi Asoke is a Buddhist sect here in Thailand who have broken away from the mainstream. They have several centres in Thailand and I visited the centre in Kamphaeng Phet near Chatuchak market. All I read about the Santi Asoke Movement reads great. They are organic, anti-capitalist and so on, they support Tan Ajaan (Ajaan Buddhadhasa) but I am unsure about their politics. Whilst I agree with Engaged Buddhism, in fact a Mindful Consumer Network is all about Engaged Buddhism, I do not know enough about Thai politics to comment. When I read this, I feel very positive; but … the politics.
So I will stick to what I found. I found a large cheap food court with a great variety. And I found a store selling far more than my Aden’s – although there were no organic veg in the store; according to Happy Cow they sell veg (I can’t have seen it). Round the side there was even a stall selling wheatgrass. What more can you ask?
Well a couple of things. First of all there were many Thai-style dishes (ie meat-looking) but they confirmed for me it was all “protein”. By this they meant TVP, and I think of that as processed soy and avoid it quite simply because it is processed. From what I could see in the shop the “protein” sold was no different from anywhere else – apologies if I am wrong my Thai is poor.
But my big disappointment was delivery. I wanted to have a regular order of organic veg and perhaps food from the shop. The lady in the shop was too busy to help, but I was able to get my Thai teacher to phone and she was told that everyone was volunteers and were too busy to organise delivery. Maybe one of the other centres could help.
My apologies but another disappointment is their English website.
Despite the concerns about politics and the delivery issue I still feel they are worth supporting. Here is a community growing organic food by service (volunteers) trying to withdraw from the all-pervasive capitalism. Apart from this article I cannot support them much but would like to promote them. Apparently (see article above) much of the stuff they sell is in-house as opposed to the other people I buy from who are intermediaries (ie within capitalism).
Finding them in Chatuchak is not straightforward but it is Thailand. There is a map here. Get off the MRT at Kamphaeng Phet and go up Kamphaeng Phet 2, after 3/400 metres take a left, keep walking 50/100m and you reach the restaurant. If you go along Kamphaeng Phet 2 and reach JJ Mall you have gone past the turning. I get a taxi!
Although I usually visit their restaurant when I am in Bangkok, I haven’t got very far into them. I asked once if they would order – too busy. I will remember they have no plastic bags!!