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By The Quiet Voice

Which stores provide the best healthy choices?

The foundation for any attempt at eating healthy begins at the one location all households turn to for sustenance, the grocery store. Despite the expectations of a healthy selection from every grocer, several stores fall short, and others are the average "mom and pop" shops that cater to regular, loyal customers. While many grocery stores offer a wide variety of healthy choices, there are ten that are known throughout the country for their pleasing selections.

Many grocers today have made the transition to organic foods, which are essentially the same but with one major difference. Organic foods are not processed, and depending on the type of food may vary in size and appearance. With the ever-growing awareness of pesticides, growth hormones, and other chemicals that are injected, fed, and otherwise made to affect foods, the average consumer is beginning to realize that organic might be the way to go. In this regard stores that are making the switch to organic produce and meats are beginning to gain an even greater following as they support the sale of organic products.

Some of those that have either made the switch or seek to set the bar are Whole Foods, Safeway, Harris Teeter, Trader Joe's, Hannaford, Albertson's, Food Lion, Publix Super Markets, Pathmark, and Super Target. While some stores are more regional than others, they all share one very important thing in common: they are all well on board in leaning toward organic products.

Several of the stores mentioned above have already begun the switch, while the others have been ahead of the curve for some time. Quite often customers will begin such a change when they make a request for their grocers to begin carrying one item or another that is difficult if not impossible to find. In this manner stores have started to listen and to cater to the needs of their customers, providing the desired goods to entice the customers toward organic store brands.

This not only cuts costs down, since the stores have less to pay out to companies for using brand names, but it also establishes a loyal clientele that will continue to return to the store for their desired products. The switch to organic products is a good business venture and a great way to promote healthy eating within communities. In some of the stores, such as Trader Joe's, brand names are nowhere to be found. The more loyalty a store gains from its customers due to superior products, the more money goes into the store. This profit can in turn be used to create even more supply. Harris Teeter has obviously used this model as they offer roughly 600 different types of produce.

Some stores that make the list might come as a surprise, such as Safeway, Albertson's, and even Super Target. These stores are well known to be filled with brand names and don't seem intent on changing that fact. But the presence of organic and more wholesome foods is a sign that they are at least willing to diversify.

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