Vegetarian Shopping

When food shopping, I look for the freshest sources of organic plant based foods at a price within my budget. You don’t have to purchase organic to be a vegetarian or vegan, but it’s better for optimal health to eat as much organic foods as possible. The post “Dirty Dozen and Clean 15” provides an overview on fruits and vegetables that are OK to purchase conventional and foods that are more optimal to find organic sources.

Where to shop for the best prices and freshest quality food is the number one topic discussed on twitter. I’m always looking for a deal but also don’t want to compromise quality of the food I put into my body. Below is a list of places I shop to make the recipes on this site. I normally shop at more than one place and my favorite is our local farmers market. Many organic food vendors at the farmers market pick their product within a day of going to market compared with grocery stores that store food in air tight facilities and could be selling produce that was pick months before going to market. Online retailers can be an option for hard to find items.

Local Farmer’s Market

This is always the best choice for locally grown fruits and vegetables. The choices are generally fresher because they skip the middle man and come straight from the farmer. You can also find fresh eggless pasta, spiced soy, baked goods and nuts at most of these markets. Becoming a regular at your local farmer’s market forms a relationship with those that grow your food, bakers, etc. I’m always asking question about the food I buy.

Whole Foods

This chain of markets is great for bulk items, fresh fruits and veggies, legumes, beans, dairy and nuts. Over the years Whole Foods has really tried to be competitive in their pricing and is a great choice for organics and natural foods. They have announced that their 365 brand is guaranteed to be non GMO and provides a great value compared with other brands.

Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe’s is an excellent source for fruits and veggies, cereals, healthy snacks, tofu, dairy, and nuts. They are the best choice for olive oil pasta, nuts and dried fruits as they aren’t as expensive as other stores and they have a wide selection. They have great organic choices in most categories but have a limited selection compared with other grocery stores when looking for veggie meat substitutes.

Food Coops

Local Harvest provides a listing of local food coops and outside of farmers markets the are my favorite places to shop. Many times they have local baked goods, store made products and a wide verity of vegan and gluten free options. We have a number of coops that I shop at and I have my favorite products that I pick up at the different stores, i.e. Rainbow Grocery store in San Francisco offers the most wonderful selection of local cheeses. Truly devine.

Online Stores

For hard to find products I provide links for ingredients in my recipe posts. You might find it is easier to source certain items online if you do not have access to a grocery store that offers Organic, gluten free and eggless products.