How To Find Organic Food While Living On The Road
Murray and I are super clean eaters. At our home in San Diego, we have organic chickens that lay fresh eggs every morning and we were eating 70% of our veggies from our own garden! We had a great Stater Bros 5 minutes away from us that had everything from organic cheese to meat. I'd say our diet is 99% organic, so when we decided to take our adventure on the road, I got a bit nervous about the organic choices that would be available to us.
Sometimes it's very hard to find good quality organic food and sometimes it's very easy! Here are my top tips for finding organic foods while traveling the country.
1. Shop at Groceries Stores With Their Own Organic Brands
This first tip is a given, but often I forget I can search for my go-to stores. If you can find a Whole Foods or Sprouts, you are in good hands. The next best thing is to find stores that have their own store sponsored brands of organic items. These items are often less expensive than the competitor brands, but still follow the USDA organic requirements. Look for the USDA organic seal when you buy the store brand. Here are some of my favorite's across the country:
- Publix (southeast) - Greenwise
- Albertsons/Safeway (nationwide) - O Organics
- Harris Teeter (southeast) - Harris Teeter Organics
- Hannaford (northeast) - Nature's Place
- Kroger (nationwide) - Simple Truth
2. Find High-Income Neighborhoods
As sad as it is to admit, high-income neighborhoods have grocery stores with more selection when it comes to organic. I've shopped at one of my favorites, Publix, in Florida and sometimes could not find what I needed if the neighborhood was a little rough. This is sometimes harder to manage when you are on a specific travel route, but if you have a tow car like we do, it is worth the extra time and mileage to find a grocery in a better neighborhood.
3. Take Advantage of Local Farmer's Markets
This was a lot easier for us to do in California, Utah and New Mexico, but if you can find a farmer's market, definitely hit it up! Often the prices are better, the food is fresher and you are helping to support local businesses. We love the farmer's markets and wish we could shop there more often!
4. Talk With The Locals
This one is one of the best ways I've found the inside scoop! Just this morning at a local grocery store, I was chatting with a lady in line who noticed all my organic food. She told me of a mom-and-pop shop about 10 miles away that had great deals on organic food. Wow! This happens more often than not as the locals have a better grasp on where the goods are in their own town. So don't be afraid of small talk!
5. Use the Internet
I've more often than not I've typed into Google: "organic grocery near me" and the first four options haven't worked. Often it directs me to high-end boutique shops, but if I'm in a jam, I'm super lucky to have them! I definitely couldn't shop at them every time as they can be a bit pricey, but they have held me over until I can find the next Safeway. We have also found that Yelp and Google reviews of grocery stores often have information about what, if any, organic items different stores carry. If you find a store with a great organic selection, leave a review to help others. We always do!
We've been on the road full time for 5 months and we have yet to encounter a situation where we couldn't have an organic choice. Albeit, our meals are simple and clean, nothing fancy, but we've had great luck eating mostly organic using these tips! Let us know if you have any others!