Poorganic Food at Food Lion?

I know you have been waiting to hear about my reunion with Food Lion. (We broke up two years ago. I have moved on.)

Okay, I don’t know if I was just in the right frame of mind, or if things have changed, but Food Lion was . . .

Totally not bad at all.

Maybe it was that I went at 7 AM, or that they’ve remodeled in the two years since our break-up, or that I went with a friend to validate me, but it was really not scary or demoralizing.Β  In fact, I am planning to walk there again in the AM for more milk (since I’ve extended our walking challenge from 1 week to 3–so gigantic is my pride), I decided I would share with you some of my poorganic discoveries about Food Lion. πŸ™‚

Okay, this is random, but there were free range chickens just roaming around an unfenced yard as I walked by. This led me to the obvious joke: Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to FOOD LION!! Hardy har.

My first shock? Food Lion now carries ORGANICS! (Mostly the Earthbound Farms brand from what I could tell.) This 3 lb bag of organic apples was $4.19. WOW! That clobbers HT’s price.

Organic onions?Β  See my astonishment? I cannot remember what the price of these was, but I do recall is was a very good price.

These Earthbound Farms clamshell lettuces and hearts of Romaine were BOTH cheaper than the same item at HT AND they were in a refrigerated display, which I admit, seems a better way to store lettuces.

100% Whole Grain pastas for BOGO, making them $0.90 cents each.Β  Pretty poorganic deal!

I prefer to buy local honey, but in a pinch, this is a great price for ORGANIC honey. WOW!

My cart of poorganic food. (Pay no attention to the Raisin Bran; it was on sale, but this cereal was the item that my kids clambered for mercilessly. The warfare convinced me to share my walked for food, eat all our household groceries, and extend my grocery walking challenge for three weeks.)

I proclaim it, “I am a FOOD LION SHOPPER!”

Walk of shame up Snob Hill

Up the hill to my house. (Pay no attention to the pastey whiteness of my legs.)

My purchases, including a delicious bag of locally roasted coffee that I also got on this walk. πŸ™‚

Do I re-love Food Lion? Well, I cannot say that we are totally “back together,” but for the occasional trip, I am convinced Food Lion is a good second choice. And the fact that I got a great three mile walk doesn’t hurt my opinion.

Do you live close enough to walk to any grocery stores? As a preliminary question to some research I’m doing on Food Deserts, where and how would you shop for food if you did not have a car?

I’m linking up with The Summer of 7 Food Challenge Blog Hop. If you want to join in with Summer of 7, join our Facebook group or link your posts to the appropriate challenge. Want to hear something cool? Over 50 bloggers are now participating in the Summer of 7 and are MOWING down the excesses of their overgrown lives. πŸ™‚


42 thoughts on “Poorganic Food at Food Lion?

  1. I WISH i could walk to a grocery store!! I live in Midland and the closest thing is a Wal mart and even that is about …3ish? miles down a sidewalk-free stretch of road and I have two kiddos (a 2 year old and a 6 month old) to tow around so that means any walking down 24/27 is OUT of the question.
    Here’s another fun fact about my situation: I am a stay at home mom with a husband who works 2 jobs and there is 1 car in this family. If we run out of milk, we may be out for days.
    So don’t be too hard on Food Lion. At least it’s there for you when you need it.

    1. My FL is 1.5 miles away, making for a 3 mile round trip. There are sidewalks MOST of the way now. I have three kids, but I purposely did this challenge when my older two were in school and I only took my 2 year old. I definitely need to go again and the last two days it has been raining, so I am already seeing that I’m so lucky to have a car. It really makes me think about those who don’t have conveniences.

  2. First, are you using a stroller to lug your groceries around, or did you have a kidlet with you? If the former, that’s great repurposing!

    To answer your question, most of my shopping trips are by walking. I have a little shopping cart trolley thingy (her name’s Daisy) that I use. There’s a picture on my blog somewhere. The slightly hilly walk is about 10 minutes to the store. I usually do one big shop at the beginning of the week (hence the cart) and maybe stop in for fresh herbs or bread-like substances toward the end of the week if I need them for the weekend. If the hubby wants to make something on the weekend (like a BBQ), I will do the weekly shop with him in addition for his planned meal, but then he drives us there.

    If it’s a really big super shop (like I need toilet paper and paper towels and diet soda for the hubby and sparkling water for me and I seem to have run out of pantry essentials…) I will order online and have it delivered.

    Our local bus system has finally allowed single carts onto the bus, so I could go further afield if I had to. I’m thankful I don’t!
    Leanne recently posted…Joy Dare Monday …My Profile

    1. I did have a kid with me. I opted for that stroller instead of the jogger because I it has more space. Are you in the city or the suburbs?

  3. I’m lucky to live in an urban area where I can easily walk to several grocery stores (Trader Joe’s, Jewel, Whole Foods, Aldi, Mariano’s) and several farmer’s markets. Trader Joe’s is usually my store of choice and I can’t tell you how many times we’ve run there as I’m preparing dinner and stopped at their sample station as the “appetizer”.
    The walkability is one of the things we love about our neighborhood and I appreciate it even more after reading this. Thanks for sharing your experience!

    1. I DO love Trader Joes, but since it takes me 30 minutes to drive there, I decided to see how well I could shop just by walking. Thanks for your comment. πŸ™‚

  4. I live 30 miles from the nearest walmart. 30 MILES. And the nearest whole foods in 2 hours away from me. I would have to say I definitely live in a food desert. But, living in a rural area has its perks as well, so I cant complain! I just have to plan to make the drive once per week.

    1. Wow! That is a long drive. I guess you can’t just buzz out to the store when you forget something. I bet I can walk to my Food Lion faster than you can drive to your Walmart. πŸ˜‰

  5. I live 25 miles from the nearest grocery store:( although some people ride their road bikes to work in ‘town’, I would not be able to do the return trip of 2000 ft elevation gain with twin 5yr olds and a 2.5 yr old!!!! Anyway, our post office (12miles away and only 1000ft elevation gain to get back home) is also a general store that has just started selling some local lettuce but thats about it. we are all trying to be somewhat self sufficient up here but growing seasons are super short and difficult. more and more people are trying to make it work here like the people did in our village in the early 1900s! we’ll see!

  6. Hi, found you through 100 days of real food!

    I have been walking to the grocery store since I moved here (cincinnati to evansville, IN…big difference), and it’s amazing how different your shopping trips become! I find myself buying only the things we absolutely need, and that can fit easily into my back bag or grocery bag. Most things that come in boxes (ie. processed crap) don’t fit nicely into my bags, so I don’t get them. It’s also made me a little more adventurous in my cooking, as i’m more likely to make things from scratch, since a lot of times I can buy enough ingredients that will make more than one meal. We are lucky enough to be able to walk to just about everywhere we need to, but I’m also a person that doesn’t mind a 3mile walk on a hot day!

    I love what you’re doing, and just wanted to share my experiences and tell you to keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks for your visit! I have become very spoiled about driving further for “better” food, but this has been a good experience for me to realize that I can save gas, exercise, and find good foods. πŸ™‚

  7. I live about a 20 minute walk from a Giant and a Safeway (next to each other.) No sidewalks, plus a highway crossing. I would be more likely to try it on a bike.

    1. I have done this trip on a bike, but I wanted to try walking first. I would prefer to go to another grocery store, but it would be a much more dangerous trip (like what you’ve described), especially with my two year old in the stroller! πŸ™‚

  8. O good gravy. I love you. and I can’t stand you. I have a food lion very near my house and yes I am currently dating Harris Teeter’s express lane. you are ruining my life. πŸ™‚ j/k. I love the pictures and snob hill! awesomesauce!

  9. Oh goodness, I am ever so grateful I have a car! But to answer your question: the nearest place that sells “food” (not *real* food) is the gas station that is 2 miles away by car. It would be walkable, but not ideal since there are no sidewalks outside our suburban neighborhood. It would be half that distance if I could walk through people’s yards, ford a stream, cut through a hay field, and scale the fence surrounding said field. Nah!

    A 1/2 mile further is a nice little deli that sells local raw honey and local pastured eggs. They also have great deli-sliced roast beef (like Boar’s Head) that the roast themselves…no additives or preservatives, though I doubt the beef is grassfed. The nearest grocery store is two more miles after that.

    IF we didn’t have a car, I would sign up for the local service (Green B.E.A.N.S.) which delivers organic produce (preferably local when in season), grassfed meats, good eggs, good dairy (not raw, but low temp pasturized/non-homogenized, pastured), and a whole host of other REAL food items.
    Valerie recently posted…How to Cope With TournamentsMy Profile

    1. I am thankful that I don’t have to do this forever, but it is really helping me to have perspective and want to do more to help people who are in “Food Deserts.” Have you heard of these? I’m going to write about it soon.

  10. I am in a food desert. I am in rural NC and live about 12 miles from the nearest grocery store. Rural roads, no sidewalks, no shoulder to speak of to walk on. I’m not doing 24 miles RT to the grocery store walking. Nearest Wal-Mart, 24 miles. Nearest Whole Foods, 2 hours + away.

    Our food lion does not carry most of the organic stuff you listed here. πŸ™ We do get a local CSA going sometimes, but they do not have organic. Local, but not organic. And there is a farmers market open twice a week 22 miles away. Again, not organic. But they do have local chicken at the farmer’s market.

    Honestly, If I didn’t have a car I don’t know what I would do. We would have milk and eggs as we have goats and chickens, but getting food for the goats and chickens would be a problem too, as I drive almost an hour once a month to get the goats quality hay.

    I live in a very poor county and organic is incredibly unpopular here, making it difficult to get, and expensive. I guess mine is not so much a complete food desert as an organic desert!

    1. Beth, this is interesting to me. From my initial research, most of the food deserts are in urban areas where low-income people don’t have cars, but I really never thought about food deserts in rural areas. I just wonder where these people are getting their food. Are they eating from convenience stores? Starving? It breaks my heart. I have the luxury to drive, (or walk), and be picky about what I eat, meanwhile I judge others for making “bad” choices. Now I am starting to see that maybe there is no choice involved. They are just hungry. Shame on me. (Did you read THIS POST? It might help you understand my issues. :))

  11. The only store I could possibly walk to is a Walmart Pantry Store. Since their produce department is notoriously pathetic (low variety, icky looking produce, distinct lack of organics) and they rarely have organic milk, it isn’t an option for me.

    I wish I could walk though, I need the exercise.

    1. Well, I don’t know if I could PERMANENTLY walk to Food Lion, but I am doing it to force myself to understand what people who don’t have cars might experience so that I can be more compassionate and less judgmental. (Read Pride Goeth to Food Lion if you really want to understand my crazy.)

  12. You know you’re an outstanding mother when your children clamber for RAISIN BRAN!

  13. I live in a crowded suburb of a major city, but I can’t walk to a grocery store. There is one that is walking distance, but it would require walking on a narrow, curvy, dangerous road without sidewalks. And, that store doesn’t usually have very fresh foods. I just drive to a better store or Trader Joes. Luckily we have 2 cars, so its never a problem.

    Just found your site (through 100 days of real food)…seems like you have a lot of interesting posts!

    1. Thanks! I’m glad you’re here. The store that I’d prefer to shop at is a 6 mile round trip with no sidewalks and constant traffic, so I’m trying to see if I can make this work for a short time.

  14. I have a Safeway less than 1/2 mile from my house. When I first moved here I got so excited about the thought of walking to the store a couple of times a week! But our Safeway is really more like a giant convenient store — the prices are ridiculously expensive that the only time I shop there is when we have run out of something and I am too lazy or tired to drive the 5 miles to the SuperTarget where I usually shop. I have thought about whether the gas savings would offset the food higher prices. It is frustrating that a store like that takes advantage of being the only one around and hikes up their food prices. Oh well, it works in a pinch and I shouldn’t really complain, I have good food on the table and lots of shopping options.

  15. I guess we’re very lucky. Within walking distance I have a Fresh Market and Target. We’ve been trying to do more walking lately too but I’d need something larger than our girls’ stroller to haul groceries home from Target. πŸ™‚

    1. Today, I took the bike stroller with no kids in it. Boy, did I get some crazy looks! But I guess it is better than pushing a shopping cart home . . .:)

  16. A very interesting topic – thank you! I found that I live 1.8 miles from our nearest grocery – and one that offers some organic – similar to the supermarket you profiled. It is walkable, and I should walk it more often – our bike cart / stroller would hold quite a lot. We’re also on a bus line, so that helps when we have car trouble. We are in Little Rock, Arkansas – there is a Whole Foods here – waaaaaay out toward the suburban western part of town (where people have $ to spend) and there is an odd Drug Emporium store that has an organic selection. No Trader Joes! Kroger is the nicer supermarket, where we usually shop semi-organic, and Harvest Foods keeps the poorer neighborhoods from being TOTAL food deserts. There is one that is on my route to my son’s school, but I only go there for non-produce necessities on the run. Since you mentioned it, I looked up and found a food desert locator : http://www.ers.usda.gov/data/fooddesert/index.htm
    and found the food deserts I suspected in my city. I notice that several of the areas have or will soon change and / or be eliminated. A Super Target went in in one of the designated food deserts on the site, and soon a small Walmart grocery store called “Neighborhood Market” is going into another. The Target somewhat incidentally serves some of the poorer neighborhoods, and the Walmart seems designed to serve some of the burgeoning wealthier neighborhoods. As I suspected, the neighborhoods south of me are very under served. I do know of one mom and pop produce grocery that has stood the test of time in one of the poorest Little Rock neighborhoods. I know for a fact there are many under served minority, poor, and elderly in those neighborhoods, with major lack of transportation to a decent grocery store. I’ve shopped in almost all the “supermarkets” in those neighborhoods, and they are chock full of junkfood and alcohol – and are dirty and unappetizing to boot! A very good topic worthy of investigation – thank you again!

    1. Thanks for your comment and for looking into Food Deserts in your area. I have been looking at the website you shared previously and even watched a couple youtube documentaries that were very helpful. (One is on the Facebook page, and I might share it in my upcoming post.) It makes me SO SAD to think that many poor people have no option to find decent food. I continue to think there has to be a way, with all that is being done to improve the landscape of food, to change this. Today at Food Lion I found a whole basket of organic avocados that were rotten with fruit flies on them. Now they’ll be trashed. Why couldn’t that food have been given to someone before it was trash!? Lots to think about. πŸ™‚

  17. I just emailed Food Lion yesterday to let them know how disappointed I am that they do not offer organics at our store. The just remodeled it, but they did not remodel their food choices. I have looked at my local Food Lion as a convenience store really. I only go there if I have to since it is close by. I do not do my major shopping there. When the stopped carrying my Kashi cereal that they used to carry, I decided I officially had no reason to shop their anymore. I will drive to Ingles!

    1. Well, I’m sure it has something to do with demand. I saw a whole basket of bagged Earthbound Farms organic avocados at my Food Lion yesterday that were TOTALLY rotten and gross. (FRUIT FLIES!!) If the store is throwing away a lot of organic food that no one has purchased, I guess I can see their argument against stocking it. But, yes, I think contacting them was great. We just have to keep pushing for our LOCAL stores to carry what we want; that way we can drive less keep our dollars in our towns. πŸ™‚

  18. A friend of mine shared this post on FB and I popped by – My two favorite parts are your look of shock and pasty legs (I, too, have paste-for-skin and am always shocked to my toes when I see a photo of my legs lol). I mean, those are my favorite parts aside from the fact that I’m totally enamored with your blog, and your purposeful life. INSPIRING! (That was loud singsong, not yelling). We live in the country (we farm) so I have to drive to the store, but I’m SO blessed that it’s only 6 miles and it’s a utopia of organic selection. My sister lives in far SW Kansas and has to drive 30 miles to get to her only choice – Wal Mart.

Comments are closed.