A trip to a Korean market--picture heavy

RosemaryDW

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I drove by a Korean market (H Mart) on an errand so of course poked my head in. It was very different than the other Asian market I visited--less fish, more beef; and a wider variety of leafy greens. While you might find a single Korean grocery in quite a few places, H Mart is a chain; here is their directory: http://nj.hmart.com/stores/.

These photos aren't great; the lighting in this H Mart is horrible.

As always, a reminder I live in an extremely high cost of living area, "good" prices for me may seem outrageous to you. I'm feeding a single Russian tortoise, housed entirely outside.

There were plenty of chicories, if that's your thing, although I didn't think the prices were great. Particularly as these are all easily found in my "regular" grocery store.

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Dandelion prices were pretty good for my area; these were very large bunches. Red dandelion is pretty much the same as green, in case you are wondering.

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Turnip greens (without the bothersome vegetables!) were a good price for the size.

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I liked the size and price of these squash leaf bundles—smaller than my farmers market—just about right for a small tortoise to consume in a week. These didn't look as fresh to me as the rest of the produce although I imagine they would pop back after a few minutes soak in water. My tortoise wouldn't care how they look anyhow. I would absolutely buy these on a regular basis.

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A huge bundle of mustard for the price. More than a small tortoise would eat over a couple of weeks but no worries, I love a bowl of beans and greens.

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These yampea looked exactly like sweet potato leaves to me. I couldn't find a good description of the plant on Google though; I kept finding vague references to a true yam, which isn't good tortoise food. Because I am familiar with sweet potato, I'd be comfortable feeding this but wouldn't recommended it to a new owner. Better safe than sorry.

Yampea was in the organic section so the price was high for the size and I didn't see it with the non organic vegetables. That said, I've gotten a lot of mileage out of this vegetable (soooo much fiber). If H Mart was my only option, I'd buy it at this price a few times a year.

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Ong Choy isn't a choy as I usually know them (bok choy, pak choy—all fom the brassica family and available at a regular grocery store). It's actually water spinach, a great tortoise food. This was a large bundle, even so, it was highly priced in the organic section. I'm sure if I'd poked around some more I'd have found it more cheaply with the regular vegetables. This vegetable isn't available at my farmers market so I'd definitely buy some here for occasional variety.

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Red shen choy is also not a choy. It's red amaranth. Another large bundle with a high price in the organic section. Amaranth is a do not feed or an occasionally feed, depending on where you look; I feed it occasionally. I'd feed it even less at this price, as it isn't a favorite! Again, I'm sure I could have found it for less with the other vegetables.

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Of course I'm always looking for new foods to try. These sesame leaves (from the plant that grows the sesame seed on your hamburger bun) looked like possible tortoise food so I bought some. Sesame turned out to be in the Lamiales order of plant. This order includes some herbs like lavender and mint, snapdragon, the safe jasmines, lilac, and also some safe trees, like olive. It also includes at least one do not feed in the Tortoise Table: ash tree. That warning is for cows though, not tortoises. Other members feed it. I decided sesame was safe to try and offered a stem. Addy sniffed and sniffed so it must have seemed interesting. When she finally took a bite, she not only spat it out, she used her legs to wipe it off her face. She's never done that before: a complete dud.

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Next I grabbed some dropwort. All the other "worts" I've found before have been okay, plus I liked the name. Dropwort turned out to be in the Apiaceae family, the family that includes celery, carrots, and lots of herbs. These plants are edible but strongly scented; I thought she wouldn't eat it, she won't eat wild carrot or most of the herbs in that family. She surprised me by eating some right away but the romance was short lived. I had to toss the rest. At least it was cheap.

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Looking for some protein? Pea sprouts! Soybean sprouts! And the more familiar mung bean sprouts; in sizes all the way up to a ten-pound bag! Here is the place to go!

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I was distracted by a work emergency during this trip and neglected to buy anything I knew she'd it eat for sure. Whoops!

These next photos are truly awful but H Mart had a large selection of seeds for many of these vegetables. If I was a gardener, I'd give these a shot as many of them are closer to "wild" food than what is for sale at my nursery.

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Tidgy's Dad

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Very interesting, though, of course, the prices are bonkers compared to here.
And some of the stuff we can't get here at all.
However turnip greens and squash leaves are free in my local market. :)
 

mshine1217

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Very interesting, though, of course, the prices are bonkers compared to here.
And some of the stuff we can't get here at all.
However turnip greens and squash leaves are free in my local market. :)

Between Ari, the Hermann, and Snap & Poppy my baby Bearded Dragon's, free is good.:tort:;)
 

RosemaryDW

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I really needed this, thank you. Also I thought bean sprouts are bad for tortoises.

I thought this too, for the longest time. A *little* protein is good, vs. *no* protein.

I'm actually going to call in @Tom for this question, as he is the one I learned it from. I don't feed my tortoise sprouts but I do provide her with some foods higher in protein from the same plant family: Fabaceae. (Beans and peas are in this family.)
 

Maitaimommy

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Thanks so much for the pics and info! I'm looking for new foods to give my russian and these seem like great options!
 

JaySparks

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I thought this too, for the longest time. A *little* protein is good, vs. *no* protein.

I'm actually going to call in @Tom for this question, as he is the one I learned it from. I don't feed my tortoise sprouts but I do provide her with some foods higher in protein from the same plant family: Fabaceae. (Beans and peas are in this family.)
Well in terms of diet tortoise do eat protein in the wild. I also recently learn something quiet interesting, I found out that the type of diet we feed our tortoises is way to nutritious. If we look at how tortoise eat in the wild they eat whatever is around and nutrition is somewhat scarce. According to Kenan he only feeds tortoise 3 times a week because of this. Weather is true or not its an interesting view.
 

Tom

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Well in terms of diet tortoise do eat protein in the wild. I also recently learn something quiet interesting, I found out that the type of diet we feed our tortoises is way to nutritious. If we look at how tortoise eat in the wild they eat whatever is around and nutrition is somewhat scarce. According to Kenan he only feeds tortoise 3 times a week because of this. Weather is true or not its an interesting view.

This is an old persistent myth and he is not someone to take advice from. Feed your tortoise the right foods every day. 300-1000 die in the wild for every one that makes it to adult hood. Simulating the wild is not a goal we should attempt to reach. Simulating the ideal parts of the wild is.

The diet I feed my tortoises is not too nutritious. It is what they should be eating. Grass, weeds, leaves, cacti, flowers, and a few other assorted tid bits here and there.
 

Tom

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I thought this too, for the longest time. A *little* protein is good, vs. *no* protein.

I'm actually going to call in @Tom for this question, as he is the one I learned it from. I don't feed my tortoise sprouts but I do provide her with some foods higher in protein from the same plant family: Fabaceae. (Beans and peas are in this family.)

This is true. I learned this from Richard Fife. He told me that he thinks the typical tortoise diet is too deficient in protein, and they they all need some plant protein in the diet occasionally. Not loads of bean sprouts every day, but small amounts once in a while. I grow my own alfalfa for this purpose. I also feed an assortment of other legumes as well, as a small part of their over all diet. I'd estimate less than 3% of their diet is made up of these "high" protein foods, but they do get some once or twice a week.

I speculate that we reached this conclusion that protein is bad because for many years, before we learned about humidity and hydration, protein and excessive nutrition was fingered as the cause of pyramiding. We now know that protein and diet have little to do with pyramiding, but this persistent myth is continually repeated by many people, included people like Kenan who mean well, but are parroting old, false info.
 

richosullivan

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Well in terms of diet tortoise do eat protein in the wild. I also recently learn something quiet interesting, I found out that the type of diet we feed our tortoises is way to nutritious. If we look at how tortoise eat in the wild they eat whatever is around and nutrition is somewhat scarce. According to Kenan he only feeds tortoise 3 times a week because of this. Weather is true or not its an interesting view.

I got 2 of my torts from Kenan and think you might have misunderstood his feeding instructions - he told me if I had plants in the enclosure that they could graze on daily, then to supplement with grocery greens 3-4 days a week. He went on to say that if the there were not plants in the enclosure that provided ample daily grazing that I should feed them every day.
 

TammyJ

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This is true. I learned this from Richard Fife. He told me that he thinks the typical tortoise diet is too deficient in protein, and they they all need some plant protein in the diet occasionally. Not loads of bean sprouts every day, but small amounts once in a while. I grow my own alfalfa for this purpose. I also feed an assortment of other legumes as well, as a small part of their over all diet. I'd estimate less than 3% of their diet is made up of these "high" protein foods, but they do get some once or twice a week.

I speculate that we reached this conclusion that protein is bad because for many years, before we learned about humidity and hydration, protein and excessive nutrition was fingered as the cause of pyramiding. We now know that protein and diet have little to do with pyramiding, but this persistent myth is continually repeated by many people, included people like Kenan who mean well, but are parroting old, false info.
Hey, speaking of alfalfa. How about the alfalfa pellets that are sold at the pet shops for rabbit food? As long as it is the "right" dried alfalfa? This is something I give to my green iguanas sometimes...what do you think about it for the tortoises (redfoots in particular)?
 

counting

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Well in terms of diet tortoise do eat protein in the wild. I also recently learn something quiet interesting, I found out that the type of diet we feed our tortoises is way to nutritious. If we look at how tortoise eat in the wild they eat whatever is around and nutrition is somewhat scarce. According to Kenan he only feeds tortoise 3 times a week because of this. Weather is true or not its an interesting view.

My kid is in love with Kenan, but the thing about Kenan is he is in Florida- his torts are all outside in naturalistic environments. So they are grazing on wild foods the rest of the time, he is supplementing with other food 4x a week but his torts are free feeding the rest of the time. Where I live, in eastern Canada the 3x a week would not be safe or ok.
Also if you watch his videos he says ex a week but he is constantly picking and throwing in flowers, cactus, mango, etc.
 

RosemaryDW

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Hey, speaking of alfalfa. How about the alfalfa pellets that are sold at the pet shops for rabbit food? As long as it is the "right" dried alfalfa? This is something I give to my green iguanas sometimes...what do you think about it for the tortoises (redfoots in particular)?

I think this merits its own, new question in the diet thread!
 

Tom

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Hey, speaking of alfalfa. How about the alfalfa pellets that are sold at the pet shops for rabbit food? As long as it is the "right" dried alfalfa? This is something I give to my green iguanas sometimes...what do you think about it for the tortoises (redfoots in particular)?

As long as there is nothing else added, I think occasional soaked alfalfa pellets mixed in with the day's greens are a good addition to the diet.
 

Tropics

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so beans and sprouts are ok? I put some chia seeds on my sulcatas enclosure, and he loved them, as they were sprouting. Ate the whole batch in about two days on top of the grass and weeds I gave her. I grew some outside the enclosure and she wasn't a fan of the grown ones.
 

RosemaryDW

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so beans and sprouts are ok? I put some chia seeds on my sulcatas enclosure, and he loved them, as they were sprouting.

Chia plants are actually sages; that’s a safe plant family. If she ate the sprouts but not the grown ones, that wouldn’t surprise me. The grown ones have a bit of a scent that your tortoise might not like. We have five sages growing in our yard, our tortoise really only cares for one; she doesn’t care for chia at all.

Legumes, including beans, are okay in small quantities. Tom mentioned above about three percent of the diet can come from this family. You can do this by providing a few peas on occasion, a green bean, some bean sprouts. I give my tortoise pea sprouts, from our farmers market. She also gets some weeds that have seed heads on them, another protein source.
 

ClydeFromElementary

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Ong Choy isn't a choy as I usually know them (bok choy, pak choy—all fom the brassica family and available at a regular grocery store). It's actually water spinach, a great tortoise food.

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Red shen choy is also not a choy. It's red amaranth.
Hi @RosemaryDW!

Thanks for an informative post on what H Mart has in stock.

Although this is an old post, I did want to say that "choy" is not synonymous with brassica.

"Choy" (菜) is the Chinese word for "vegetable." It's the Cantonese pronunciation (the Mandarin pronunciation is "cài"). Thus ong choy and ren shen choy are both truly choy.

For more information on choy:


The more you know... :)

Wishing you and your tortoise the best!
 

RosemaryDW

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Hi @RosemaryDW!

Thanks for an informative post on what H Mart has in stock.

Although this is an old post, I did want to say that "choy" is not synonymous with brassica.

"Choy" (菜) is the Chinese word for "vegetable." It's the Cantonese pronunciation (the Mandarin pronunciation is "cài"). Thus ong choy and ren shen choy are both truly choy.

For more information on choy:


The more you know... :)

Wishing you and your tortoise the best!
Oh that’s super helpful, thanks!
 
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