Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Mar 9, 2010 05:52 AM

Where can I buy "Food, Inc" approved groceries in NYC?

I just saw the movie last night and want to jump on the organic bandwagon.



  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Haven't seen the movie, but does it refer to organic items that differ from the ones found at Whole Foods/Fairway/farmers' markets?

    7 Replies
    1. re: MMRuth

      It refers to natural growing of foods of all kinds...I've never been in a Whole Foods and am not quite sure if just being labeled "organic" means it's the right stuff.
      I guess WF is a good place to start.

      $6 tomatoes, here I come.

        1. re: gutsofsteel

          At the Greenmarket in Union Sq some of the vendors advertise their fruits/veg as 'grown with organic practices.' One vendor explained that a farm has to be organic for a certain amount of time before it can be certified- so the produce grown before the farm is certified is grown organically/without pesticides.

        2. re: il Trifulau

          <$6 tomatoes, here I come.>

          You'll be pleasantly surprised, I think. Last week WF organic tomatoes were $3.49/lb. Not exactly cheap, but not crazy, either.

            1. re: small h

              Ideally, the Food, Inc. people would probably tell you to stick to food from the farmers markets, and avoid eating tomatoes in March if you live in New York. Also, Pollan doesn't get that hung up on if produce is certified organic or not. I'm not judging, just saying what I think their take is.

              1. re: gillsnthrills

                You are correct, of course. And there's at least one Union Square greenmarket vendor who sells hothouse tomatoes year round. So for the truly conscientious, options exist. Expensive options.

        3. Ditto. I almost lost my dinner watching the scenes at the processing plants/slaughter houses. Great movie that I hope gets widespread attention.

          1. Definitely start with the farmer's markets. You'll be getting local produce grown by small farmers, which, even if not certified organic, likely conforms better to the ideals of "Food Inc." than the big agri-business organic foods carried by a large chain such as Whole Foods.

            Talk to the people you buy from. Most of them are happy to tell you about their farm, their growing practices, why they are or are not certified organic. And local stuff usually tastes better, too.

            1. Join a CSA for the summer. There are a ton of local farms with pickup spots all around the city so you can always fine one that is convenient to your work or home. It's possible most of the spots are already sold out (they go on sale in Jan/Feb and sell out fast), but you may be able to find something with slots still available. Farmer's markets are the next best thing.

              visciole is right - just because it's organic at WF, doesn't mean it's the better purchase. You need to understand where you are buying from.

              Just start off small - buy and eat from the farmer's markets a few times per week and go from there as you learn more about what brands you want to support and which ones you don't.

              1 Reply
              1. re: piegirl74

                As piegirl notes, as CSA is the best way to go. Then Farmer's Markets.

                Local is the best factor you can do. organic is better than not, but organic can still involve industrial food production methods. You want to stay local.

              2. Please support your local farmers. There are many greenmarkets in the area, most notably the one in Union Square.

                I understand that corporate conglomerates like Whole Foods are more convenient but on a micro level, it is important to support the men and women who are in your area, producing fresh and healthy food for you, so they can continue to do so and continue to provide an alternative option.

                Buy in season. Prior to shipping blueberries from South America, people ate in season for their locality. Enjoy your winter vegetables. We've gotten so used to having anything we want all year round, including former luxury items like cake and rich meats. I think the driving theme behind Food Inc. is to live healthier and make the environment healthier by eating real food, minimally processed, chemical-free food and eating meat in moderation. The chemically sanitized beef segment has turned me off to ground beef in fast food restaurants forever, literally.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Pookipichu

                  Well said. Food inc. Is striking because it shows so many of the horrors of factory farming but the enjoyment you'll get out of buying food from the folks who actually produce it immeasurable. I just finished a pasta with dark meat turkey sausage from a local turkey farmer who routinely tells customers to visit the farm if they want. These people produce real food and they're proud of it. For us, it means delicious food that I believe is much healthier (even items that are not low-fat, low-salt, etc). Enjoy your shopping and please report back.