When you first start to get into living a healthy and as natural as possible, it can sometimes be difficult to find places where to shop for whole and organic foods. Of course, in this country, the food industry is dominated by corn syrup-filled, prepackaged, nasty hideousness. Walking through most grocery store aisles today is like observing a propaganda film for Archer Daniels Midland (the largest producers of high fructose corn syrup). Corn syrup is the major factor behind the rise in obesity in the last three decades. Therefore, it is really a good thing to know where to shop for whole and organic foods.
Of course, everyone knows about Whole Foods. They have become the leading supermarket chain when it comes to natural and organic foods. Unfortunately, many people do not have a Whole Foods located very close to them. Where do you go in that case?
The best place to start is the website, organic.org. This non-profit site has a wonderful feature to locate organic grocery stores in your area. Simply click on “Store Finder” at the top of the page. An interactive map of the United States will pop up. Click on your state and a list of stores that sell organic products will appear. This list is great! It has the store name, address, telephone number, and a hyperlink to the store’s website (if they have one).
On the page where all the stores are listed, there is a link above the list of stores: “See Farmers’ Markets Locations.” This is another great resource. The list will be much longer than the list of stores. Farmers’ markets are blooming all over the nation, and this list reflects that. Again, like the organic grocery stores list, it is chock-full of great information. In addition to the markets’ names, locations, contact information, and hyperlinks, it will have the hours of operation listed. Many of them are only open one or two days a week and the hours can change from month to month. Be sure to check the website before you go.
If you are not lucky enough to have a dedicated organic grocery store or farmers’ market in your area, then your next stop should be your local grocery store. Take some time to talk with the store manager. Find out what kind of whole and organic foods they carry. If they aren’t carrying many or any, ask why not. The manager may not be aware of a demand for those types of groceries in the community. You can point out to him/her that if you are interested enough to take the time to ask him about it, then there are most likely many people who are also interested as well. They just may not have thought to ask the manager about it. If the manager is leery of trying something new, ask him/her to start slowly with a few organic or natural products. When they start selling well, the manager will have all the financial incentive in the world to start carrying more and more healthy products.
As you can see, there are a lot of ways to find the kinds of groceries that will enhance your healthy lifestyle. It really isn’t that hard!
Photo by Ewan-M