Monday, March 2, 2009

Where Do You Shop for Groceries and Why There?

In the D.C. metro area, the 3 major grocery store chains - Giant, Safeway, and Shoppers Food Warehouse - are unionized. As a labor lawyer, I feel compelled to do my primary grocery shopping at one of these places.

I usually go to Shoppers because it's closest to where I live. Shoppers offers an above-average selection of produce and ethnic foods. My problem with Shoppers, though, is its large size. There have been times when I've reached the frozen food section at one end of the store and realized I had forgotten to pick up a bunch of cilantro in the produce section at the opposite end of the store.

But I won't walk back to the produce section for the cilantro. I'll leave the store hoping that I already have something back at the house that could serve as an adequate substitute. And then be pissed off when I'm forced to drive back to Shoppers just to pick up that bunch of cilantro.

On my way home from Shoppers, I'll usually stop by My Organic Market (MOM's) to pick up a few items. MOM's is a local chain with 4 stores in the D.C. metro area. Here, I will buy locally grown fruits, personal hygiene products (e.g., shampoo and conditioner), and green cleaning supplies. I wish I could buy all locally grown produce, but that would send my weekly grocery bill through the stratosphere. I'll just stick with fruits for now.

I have mentioned Whole Foods as a source for buying ingredients in previous posts. My doing so is not meant to be viewed as any kind of personal endorsement of Whole Foods. In fact, I do my best to avoid shopping there because of stances that its CEO has taken with regard to workers' rights. I only mention Whole Foods in posts because it is one of the few national "mainstream" grocery stores that stocks many unique ethnic food products.

So, where do you do shop for groceries and why there? And what's the deal with Harris Teeter? I checked one out recently. It has a pretty decent hot food bar, although not nearly as good as Whole Foods. Selection-wise, it seems to offer mostly items that can be found at any other regular supermarket, except at noticeably higher prices. I have friends who gush over Harris Teeter. I was pretty much underwhelmed.

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