Monday, June 1, 2009

Organic Shopping in Howard County

Organic food in Howard County starts at the three organic markets, and it is spreading out more and more every day.

The three big markets are Roots in Clarksville, David's in Columbia and Mom's Organic Market in Jessup (formerly My Organic Market). These are independent stores -- smaller than a Safeway but larger than most of the ethnic groceries -- offering produce, breads, cheeses, some meats, and aisle after aisle of packaged goods.

I'm not the perfect customer for these stores because I don't flock to the packaged goods. I love Muir Glen canned tomatoes, but I don't really crave the milk, juices, crackers, sauces and frozen foods that seem to appear in all three stores -- like they do at Whole Foods. These seem to be the core products. Many of them are delicious. Many are pretty pricey as well. I don't know if the prices differ between the three stores, although Roots certainly feels a bit more upscale.

They all have good bread, including Bonaparte baguettes at MOM's. I do love the bulk bins for beans and grains like oatmeal, quinoa and cracked wheat. I also go for cheese, although even the premier Roots cheese section doesn't have the excitement of the cheese at Wegmans.

Roots, MoM's and David's truly do offer some unique items -- both ingredients to cook and convenience food that you could cook tonight. I tried the Moorenko's ice cream at MoM, and commentators on a prior post talked about their personal favorites -- like local honey (Kikiverde), Trickling Springs Creamery chocolate milk, and a Neiman Ranch uncured ham steak.

Beyond the big three, you can find organic products at Trader Joe's in Elkridge and really at most of the standard grocery stores. Clearly, organic has become a trend that no one ignores.

Where do you buy organic or natural foods? What differences do you see between MoM, Roots and David's? Better prices? Better selection? Special goods?

One of the little treats at the organic markets is that they'll give you their trash. I call ahead and then pick up the produce or the salad bar scraps that the markets would normally throw away. Mixed with shredded leaves, they're perfect fuel for a compost heap -- although I have been weeding squash seedlings from my gardens all spring because I tossed pumpkins and butternut squash into my pile last fall.

For more information, check out my post about vegetable shopping in Howard County and click on any of these links for all the posts about each of the three markets: Roots in Clarksville, David's in Columbia, and My Organic Market in Jessup.

Roots Market
5805 Clarksville Square Dr.
Clarksville, MD 21029

NEAR: It's on Rte 108 just north of Rte 32. The Clarksville Square shopping center is on the west side filled with "crunchy" businesses owned by the same people -- a restaurant, a pet supply shop, a decorating place. Look for the Jiffy Lube on Rte 108.

Mom's Organic Market Columbia East
7361 Assateague Dr. #190
Jessup, MD 20794

NEAR: This is the Columbia East shopping center at Rte 175 and U.S. 1. There is a Starbucks and a Rita's facing Rte 175, and you'll see My Organic Market right in front of you when you pull into the parking area.

David's Natural Market
5430 Lynx Ln. #C
Columbia, MD 21044

NEAR: This is in the Wilde Lake Village Center near the Columbia Mall. The center is off Twin Rivers Road, which runs between Harpers Farm Road and Gov. Warfield Parkway.

This is part of the "What I Learned" series of posts. They're organized in rings. See below to continue on the ring about shopping in Howard County. Or click to switch to the posts about different cuisines or posts about areas and ideas.

PREVIOUS: Meat Markets in Howard County
NEXT: Ethnic Shopping in Howard County


Anonymous said...

Am I going to have baby pumpkins and squash in among my new yew's branches? Such nice compost!

Anonymous said...

Out of the big three, MoM's is my favorite. I think the prices are the best out of anywhere and I love the friendly service with a smile. The store is also the smallest, but for the most part I don't have trouble finding what I need there.