organic shopping at a conventional store

Living in the Twin Cities, I have access to Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and too many co-ops to count. At the Wedge, where I am a member, it is harder to find non-organic items than organic. I often forget that not everyone has access to stores and food like I do, and it is something I need to remember from time-to-time.

So I took the opportunity to do my weekly grocery shopping and a little research in Baraboo, WI ( in the heart of cow country) while I was there the other weekend. Maybe I don’t give that little town enough credit – they do have a health food store, The Grainery which has some of the hippest health foods around: Coconut Ice Cream, Chobani and a Gluten-Free section that can rival a Whole Foods. I bought a few fun, new items but saved the bulk of my shopping for the local Pierce’s Market. I have to say that I was very impressed. I was able to buy almost all organic veggies, with the exception of peppers and cucumbers. Organic english cucumbers, which I buy on a weekly basis are hard to find at even the best co-ops and Whole Foods, so I wasn’t surprised that I couldn’t find them.  The organic cauliflower didn’t look like it came off the truck yesterday (it was towards the end of its life) but not bad enough to not buy it. And it turned out delicious!

I also realized that it has its advantages. My stores have everything so when tapenade is on the list, I get some fresh tapenade in the deli section. This was not an option at the Pierce’s but I soon realized that I have green and kalamata olives at home, so why not just make my own?

Overall, if anyone is still reading at this point, 😉  I came away with everything that I had on my list, albiet was a basic one, and most of it was the same exact thing I would have picked up at the Whole Foods or co-op.  Now if they only had a few more restaurants…

Where do you shop? Is it out of choice or preference?

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13 Comments

Filed under grocery shopping, vegetables

13 responses to “organic shopping at a conventional store

  1. I shop way too many places. I try to narrow it down, but it doesn’t work. I love Morningstar Farms veggie bacon, but my co-op doesn’t carry it. I have to go to Cub to get veggie bacon. How backwards is that?

  2. Marie

    We love shopping at Pahl’s Market in Apple Valley. A lot of the veggies are from just down the road at Pahl’s Farm less than a mile from our house! They have 13 different varieties of homegrown produce, but are probably best known for their sweet corn! I’m anxious for their market to open up again in the summer! You wouldn’t think that there would be such a large farm in a big suburb!

  3. I really have to shop at 4 different stores to get everything. Costco for big containers of organic spinach or spring mix for salads, Fage, and occasionally seafood. TJ’s for well, all the fun TJ’s stuff; condiments, cheeses, canned beans, grains, almond milk, almond butter, etc. Sprouts for produce and bulk bin foods, like oatmeal, rice, nutritional yeast, and Kombucha! Regular grocery store for the rest.

  4. I really like making my own olive tapenade.

    I live in Chicago and I am guilty of taking adavantage of all the different stores that are available to me.

  5. I love grocery shopping, but it can be time consuming. I shop for bulk items at Coscto, but then I like TJ’s peanut butter better, then there’s products WF’s carries that no one else does. Its exhausting, but worth it 🙂

  6. What was the price difference between the stores? I know that’s a major issue for my mom who lives in rural Indiana.

    Great post.

    • You know, they don’t really have any product over-lap so it is pretty hard to say! The little health food store really only has specialty items and a minimal amount of produce, dairy items, etc. (like Greek yogurt, which they don’t have at the other store)

  7. I love that so many smaller towns are getting health food stores!

  8. Where I shop around here is definitely not a choice…there are NO fresh produce! Every single fruit and vegatable is bruised and yellowing, and it’s got limited stocks…mostly Latino stuff that I don’t use…:-(

  9. Thanks for sharing! Keep up the nice work.

  10. Thanks for mentioning how nice our organice produce section is. Our produce manager always strives to get the freshest organics possible. We do try to carry the basics as well as incorporate seasonal items as often as they are available. We also try to get as much as we can from our local growers. We are starting a partnership now with the Renewal Youth Garden project where we will sell their organice micro greens! It is so exciting to partner with new organizations!
    I also wanted to point out that we have a nice variety dairy products including several varieties of Greek Yorgurt. And as always, if there is something you would like to see Pierce’s carry, just one of our managers know, we are always happy to see if we can get you exactly what you want at the most affordable price.
    Thanks again for the great blog and good info!

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