When you want to eat healthy, it’s not hard to find a food store that can provide the basics: vegetables, fruit, cereals and bread made from whole grains, low-fat dairy products. But a grocery with bushels of high-quality produce, decently priced organics, abundant locally sourced foods, and other healthy options is another kettle of omega-3 rich, wild-caught fish altogether.
When Consumer Reports asked its members to tell us about their shopping experiences with supermarkets, warehouse clubs, and supercenters, only 6 out of 96 rated grocers got top marks for their selection of healthy options, and all of them were privately held regional chains. In ratings order, they are:
• Central Market (Texas)
• Wegmans (mid-Atlantic)
• Heinen’s (Ohio and Chicago area)
• New Seasons Market (Oregon, Washington, and Northern California)
• Fresh Thyme Farmers Market (Midwestern states, Kentucky, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania)
• Natural Grocers (19 states west of the Mississippi)
But while choosing organic is considered a cornerstone of healthy eating—and 43 percent of our respondents said they’d bought organic produce in the past month—not a single grocer got the highest score for their prices of organic options. Several, however—Trader Joe’s, Costco, Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, Natural Grocers, Aldi, Woodman’s, and Grocery Outlet—did get commendable marks.
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