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Oct 19, 2007

Shmitta: OBD produce and pricing

I mentioned in the comments of a previous post about a lead I had in procuring OBD veggies at a very reasonable price.

Tonight I received my first "shipment" of OBD veggies. They are OBD from Moshav Kommemiyut (not Otzar Ha'Aretz). I received 3 kilo of cucumbers and 3 kilo of red peppers. You have to purchase in 3 kilo bundles. The cost was 3 NIS per kilo, and I paid 19 NIS (not sure why not 18, but the guy who brought it to me said 19).

The quality is excellent, though I am not 100% sur what I am going to do with 3 kilos of red peppers. They did not have tomatoes available today.

To compare, I stopped off in Aleph and at Shefa Shuk this evening to check the prices they were selling these veggies at. Aleph and Shefa are both large Haredi supermarket chains selling produce from "yevul Nochri" (Arab produce).

The price for red peppers in each of the two stores was 8.79 NIS and 8.91 NIS respectively.
The price for cucumbers in each of the two stores was 6.90 NIS and 6.99 NIS respectively.

The quality looked fine but I did not pay too close attention to that.

Clearly the savings of OBD are significant. I am not sure why the prices of Otzar Ha'Aretz OBD are so much higher than this other OBD. Otzar Ha'Aretz prices are very similar (give or take a bit) to the Arab produce being sold in the supermarkets.

I do not know if it is price gouging or if they simply have a shortage of produce or extra expenses due to their system or whatnot.

Anyways, this is another blip in the shmitta saga and series..


  1. Cool. Where'd you get them from?

  2. a friend of mine works in Geula and found someone there selling out of an apartment produce from this OBD. It is kind of a crapshoot. They get different things each day. he was going to bring me stuff a couple of days ago but came back saying they only had "lefet" and he did not know what I would do with 3 kilo of lefet.... today they had cuces and red peppers but no tomatoes...

    Anyways, the only problem I have now is that they only sell in 3 kilo bags and I have to figure out what to do with 3 kilo of red peppers (the cuces is less of a problem, but also might be a bit of a challenge..)

  3. Do you have a contact number for that?
    Cucumbers don't keep, but you can cut up both cukes and peppers and keep them in the fridge in a glass container.
    Peppers--slice, sprinkle with olive oil and herbs if you like, and roast in the oven. You should cut and take out the membranes and seeds so they will keep longer. You can also freeze them raw for use in cooking.
    I would take lefet.

  4. moi - I do not, but I will try to get one for you...thanks for the ideas

  5. "Clearly the savings of OBD are significant. I am not sure why the prices of Otzar Ha'Aretz OBD are so much higher than this other OBD."

    I've been scratching my head on this one as well!

  6. Otzar haaretz obviusly has higher overead.. howd u ever get a degree in finance ? i'm a punk selling on ebay and can tell you this!

    You said someone was selling it out of their apartment.. no overhead! and in 3 kilo bags (bulk)

    The super has to get it trucked in... and make a profit.

    Also Otzar haaretz sets the prices (at least according to the sign in the super) which would make sense since its a complicated system.

    But the downside is that when the food is semi old can the super slash the prices to move em?

    Was at shmuel (zangy) meidad for lunch today, he is the founder of choneinu and good friend of mine. His uncle (a skever chosid) wrote a sefer about komimiyut and shmita..

    And a lesson to mitnachalim in the sefer where he quotes the chazon ish who when the founders of komimiyut came saying the "jewish" agency wants them to settle in the halile he told them "vayisa avraham hanegba" go south davka because they said north!

    He also has a sefer about the yishuv bitiya ? near akron that kept shmita in I forgot what year 1890? and almost starved to death.

  7. okay I have a lame question:

    my makolet gets OBD veggies. Why do you have to have it s hipped? Isn't there a store where you can shop?

  8. miriam - the only OBD sold locally is Otzar Ha'Aretz, which I buy. However for some reason their produce is very expensive compared to other OBD produce.

    I think when he wrote the cost of shipping it was the shipping from the field/wholsesaler to the store.

    elchonon - all the costs up until the store should be pretty much the same. this guy was selling out of his apartment, but up until that point everything else is the same - same packagaing, shipping, handling. bit less overhead because it is not in a store...

  9. Please pass on the info how to get these.

    I'm sure we could find other families who would want to split a 3 kilo bag.

    The otzar haaretz stuff we've bought has been very expensive.

  10. In all seriousness -- I'll be glad to split any bags you think you won't finish.

    Of course, there's no way my family will be able to survive on just 1.5 kg of peppers, so maybe I'd take 1 and a half bags :)

    Seriously-- if you're interested, we are as well. Give me a call (shemeshphone) or drop me an email if you'd like...

  11. I asked my contact to try to get a phone number... If he comes through I will let you know.

    Mike - if it becomes relevant, I will let you know.
    From what I understand, OBD on veggies is going to be finished very soon anyways... maybe I am wrong on that though.

  12. I suggest making Salsa Rosa sauce with the red peppers. Yum and it freezes well.



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