This seems like a silly topic, but I have seen all of the examples listed when grocery shopping in Phuket at Tesco or even Villa Market. Many Westerners, just like buying packaged meats, will flock to any vegetable that says “imported”, regardless of price. If people want to pay those prices, I have no problem, but what people should be doing is stretching that Baht as far as they can on food items so they can enjoy other things Thailand has to offer.
First is a list of what is locally grown in Thailand, then a list of what I have seen imported. I will mark what we are growing in our garden with green bold text.
Locally grown in Thailand: If buying from a fresh market, 99% of the time, this will be available, all grown in Thailand.
- Radish, these are the large white ones.
- Red Radish, these are the small round ones, half red and half white.
- Onions, yellow, white, and red.
- Butternut Squash.
- Winter Squash – what Thais call pumpkins, these are normally greenish colored.
- Bell Peppers.
- Sweet Potatoes.
- Chinese Eggplant.
- Purple Eggplant.
- Yellow Summer Squash.
- Tomatoes, Plum and Cherry tomatoes common, I have never seen a large tomato.
- Sweet Corn.
- Long Beans.
- Celery, this is naturally much thinner stalks.
Imports: I have not seen all the imports, this is what I have observed from time to time in the grocery stores.
- Carrots, imported carrots.
- Red Radish, the small round ones, I noticed the price on these, package of 6, 250 Baht, local about 25 Baht.
- Onions, I have seen yellow and white, 30 Baht each, local is about 35 Baht per kilo.
- Beets, I have seen imported for 100 Baht each, local is about 35 Baht each.
- Purple Eggplant, I have seen these go for 100 Baht each as well, and local is about 35 Baht each.
- Celery, import can run 50 to 60 Baht for one bundle, but it is very thick stalks, local thin celery is only about 10 inches long and 12 Baht per several bundles. I do buy this from time to time.
So you can see the advantage of buying locally grown veggys has a financial advantage over imports.