Organics are generally more expensive than conventionally grown, factory-farmed foods. How do you eat clean food without breaking your budget? Shop smart, do some hunting in each store, and comparison shop between stores. I’ve picked out three of the best bets in the Indy metro area.
My first choice gets the top spot, not only for quality organics and local foods, but also for convenience. Green Bean Delivery offers weekly or biweekly bins delivered to your doorstep. Saving gas keeps both the environment and your pocket greener. To sign up, go to their website at http://greenbeandelivery.com/. Your bin is customized according to your preferences. Bin prices range from $25-$49. The produce is consistently fresh, but if there’s ever a problem, you can drop them an email or give them a call. You’ll receive a hassle-free credit toward your next order. Green Bean offers specialty foods from local artisans besides locally grown produce. Gluten free products, fresh baked breads, gourmet pasta, farm fresh eggs, grass fed beef, free range chicken, organic coffee, and more can be added to your bin a la carte. Check out this farmers market on your doorstep. You’ll be pleased.
Just east of downtown is a new local organic grocer called Pogue’s Run Grocer, located at 2828 East 10th Street. A bright spot amongst the blight of the near east side, Pogue’s Run was born out of the Indy Food Cooperative, Inc., a membership nonprofit organization. Anyone can shop there, but members are privy to special sales and voting rights at business meetings. While it is generally pricier than Green Bean Delivery, here’s where the hunting comes in. Rainbow swiss chard was remarkably lower priced this week. Like an old time general store, Pogue’s back wall is lined with self-serve bulk items such as flours, organic corn meal, nuts, and several varieties of rice. Most impressive was the deli, where Boar’s Head cold cuts are available, including their nitrite/nitrate free All Natural line of meats. Pogue’s offers a tempting $5 sandwich menu and $1 soup du jour made from scratch. The Tuscan Turkey sandwich (provolone, green peppers, lettuce, kalamata olives and a basil aioli) beckoned me as well as the inviting café area. Weekly specials can be found on their website http://poguesrungrocer.org/.
Old faithful, Trader Joe’s, located at 5473 E. 82nd St. in Castleton is our last stop. Beware: not everything is organic here, but there is a wonderful variety of international cuisine that makes Trader Joe’s a shopping adventure. Their organic produce is pricey, but their cheeses are comparably cheaper than my other picks. Here you can find organic non-antibiotic cheeses, Greek feta, creamy goat’s milk varieties, and many Italian types. Trader Joe’s claims to be completely non-GMO and their house brand is the economical choice. Their gourmet specialty pastas and ravioli can satisfy the most discriminating palate. Coupled with an Italian red wine from their plentiful array, dinner is served! Don’t forget the bread: Italian, French, pita, taboule and more. Check weekly specials at http://www.traderjoes.com/index.asp. You have to love those bells, alerting one of their elves to ring up your order!
There you have it- three great options to eat healthier in Indy. Check out the EWG shoppers guide to pesticides before you shop organically. If you’re on a limited budget, it will help to know which foods must be organic and which are safe conventionally grown. Download a copy at http://www.foodnews.org/. Happy shopping and healthy eating!