Monday, March 9, 2009

Help Me: Organic Shopping

Sometimes, I have time to shop. Sometimes, I don't even have time to boil water. But when I can, I like to search the Howard County organic markets for something special.

I'm posting about "What I've Learned" to collect a guide to the best of Howard County food., including a post about vegetable shopping. I'm asking for help, and I'll incorporate comments in the upcoming posts (or update them if the post already happened):
  • What do you like at the organic stores? Roots, MoM and David's all have aisles of stuff that I don't really know. Mostly, I go for vegetables, bread and cheese -- like Kate who found emmentaler at Roots. But I stumbled on Moorenko's ice cream at MoM, and I know there must be more. Great crackers? Great juice? Meat? Is there some difference between the three groceries -- something that one does best?
  • Do you know any other options? I'm posting separately about Gorman Farm and South Mountain Veggies. Does anyone get South Mountain milk delivered? Are there other straight-from-the-farm options in Howard County?


Lisa said...

One Straw Farm is a CSA that has a Wednesday pickup at MOM. This will be my 2nd year with them.

HowChow said...

Lisa --

What did you think of the One Straw Farm CSA? Any advice for people considering one?

Also -- any favorite items at MOM?

Thanks for the comment. I updated the post about the CSAs.

Lisa said...

I was very happy my CSA experience. I split the share with my cousin which helped - I don't think I could have used all the items myself. I do think I'll have less waste this year since I am now experienced with what we get and when.

As far as MOM, I buy all of my dairy products there, some vegetables, bulk spices and steel cut oatmeal, rice, nuts, etc. The cheese selection is very good, although I have to watch the budget. They also carry Ciao Bella Gelato (Harris Teeter also carries it). The blood orange is a big fave at my house.

Anonymous said...

Trader Joe's has a good selection of organics at fair prices, as does Costco. Organic and big box store don't really seem to go together, but I get good prices on organic chicken, ground beef, chicken stock, peanut butter, eggs, and salad greens at Costco. Sometimes it can be like a treasure hunt at Costco, with new organic products popping up in the aisles all of the time.

Most of my shopping is done at My Organic Market. I've found that their prices and customer service are best in the area, although they are a smaller store so sometimes the selection can be limited. I'm also a sucker for a bargain and My Organic Market is probably one of the most coupon-friendly natural foods markets around which is a huge plus for me. I love the bulk bins at MOM's. I do most of my cooking from scratch, and I've found that there's no better deal/quality than the grains/dry beans by the pound at MOM's. I also love their selection of bulk spices, allowing me to get as much or as little as I need for a reasonable price. Another gem is the selection of regionally-produced honey available in all kinds of varieties. In the summer they have the cheapest price around for heirloom tomatoes. I've also never been to a store with such genuinely friendly and helpful employees as they have at MOM.

As far as traditional grocers with organic products, I've had the most luck with Giant. Their Nature's Promise line is reasonably priced, and although they don't have a great selection of fresh organic produce, they have a large variety of shelf-stable items and a fair selection of meats.

Anonymous said...

Ive shopped at David's and MoM and TJ's, haven't made it to Roots yet...
Hands down I prefer MoM but still go to David's occasionally for some things like Trickling Springs Creamery Chocolate Milk.

Favorite items at MoM

Neiman Ranch Uncured Ham Steak
(dont be fooled they offer the cured version at Trader Joes but its not nearly as good)

Natural by Nature Whole Milk
tastes absolutely creamy and fresh, best milk I have ever had.

Zumi Soap Bars
made with goats milk and great scents

Numi Teas
All produce, actually signing up for the CSA this year...
and bulk pistachios are usually a good deal