Finding organic food in New York City has never been easier. From big box chains like Whole Foods and Traders Joe’s to conventional supermarkets and specialty stores, city shoppers can choose from a variety of venues to help their families eat more sustainable fare. For those looking to spend their money in home-grown, local stores, New York has a wide range of neighborhood shops that offer organic produce, locally sourced meats and supplements as well as helpful staff that know their products and can help you find exactly what you need. Here are some of the best local shops in New York City to buy organic food.
Park Slope Food Coop
782 Union St.
Brooklyn, NY 11215
The Park Slope Food Coop, founded in 1973, is the granddaddy of organic shopping options in New York City. Owned and operated by its members, Park Slope Food Coop stocks local, organic produce, organic and kosher poultry, sustainably sourced fish and a range of fair-traded items, including coffee and chocolate. While anyone can apply for membership to the Coop, only members, who must also volunteer each month at the coop, are allowed to shop.
Union Square Greenmarket
E. 17th St. and Union Square W.
New York, NY 10003
Founded in 1976, the Union Square Greenmarket is open Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday year-round and features artisan products and fresh produce from local farmers. Focused on providing seasonal and fresh-picked produce, the farmers’ market is the perfect place to browse for farmstead cheeses, artisan breads, jams, wines and homemade baked goods. As part of the citywide initiative to provide quality foods for all, New Yorkers can also swipe their EBT cards (food stamps) to purchase fresh foods throughout the market.
Manhattan Fruit Exchange
448 W. 16th St.
New York, NY 10011
Located in famous Chelsea Market, home to the Food Network, Manhattan Fruit Exchange is one of the largest distributors of fresh fruits and vegetables in all of New York City. The crowded retail outlet, located in the center of the market, accepts only cash and offers a wide range of organic and conventional fruits and vegetables, quality cheeses, nut butters and coffees for shoppers.
Natural Green Market
162 3rd Ave.
New York, NY 10003
Natural Green Market, located in the Gramercy neighborhood of Manhattan, offers a wide range of health items and organic produce in its shop, all at affordable prices. The salad bar, which offers a range of vegan and vegetarian options (and is half-price after 8 p.m.) is a great way to get a quick, healthy lunch for nearby cubicle dwellers. The juice bar and grind-your-own peanut butter are also popular among shoppers looking for quality natural products and organic produce in a store with a neighborhood feel.
Food for Health
1653 3rd Ave.
New York, NY 10128
This tiny Yorkville shop is a treasure trove for organic food items and supplements. Jam packed, the store is not for the claustrophobic, but those willing to navigate the crowded aisles will find a range of health items, hard-to-find organic ingredients and a knowledgeable staff willing to help customers make the best choice. Also popular are the sandwich offerings and juice items, which offer a quick alternative to a fast food lunch that is sure to pack a nutritional punch.
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Tamar Auber is a freelance writer whose work can be found on Examiner.com.