What’s in Your Shopping Cart? Healthy shopping at a big box store.

It’s easy to find healthy food at the farmer’s market or produce stand. Especially this time of year, an abundance of local, fresh fruits and vegetables are available for reasonable prices. But, what if you’re shopping at a big box store like Costco? What are some of the healthier choices you can make? (Note: this is not an endorsement for any one retailer.)

In the nutrition world, we talk about “good, better and best” choices. Grass-fed beef, sustainably raised without antibiotics or growth hormones, would be a “best” choice. You won’t find this at Costco. However, if you shop carefully, you will find some good choices for protein, such as:

  • Fresh Wild Pacific Rockfish: $5.99/lb*
  • Fresh Wild Sockeye Salmon: $7.99/lb*
  • 3 lbs Frozen Wild Mahi Mahi: $19.99 ($6.66/lb)*
  • 2-pack – 12 oz each: Rosie Organic Grilled Chicken Strips: $12.99

*These varieties of wild-caught fish are on the Seafood Watch list of “good” options.

Also, Costco is an excellent source for staples, such as rice, quinoa and beans. Quantities are huge; so, consider sharing with a friend:

  • 12 lbs Organic Lundberg Farms Brown Rice: $11.99
  • 4 lbs Organic TruRoots Quinoa: $9.69
  • 3 lbs Organic TruRoots Sprouted Bean Medley: $9.79

Plus, you can get great deals on hummus, extra virgin olive oil, steel cut oats, almond butter, etc.

In terms of fruits and vegetables, organic, sustainably grown, seasonal, local produce would be a “best” choice. For the most part, I avoid buying produce from a big box store – even if it’s organic – because, usually, it was picked before it ripened and then shipped many miles. Thus, it has fewer nutrients and creates a higher carbon footprint.

Once in awhile, I can’t resist a huge container of blueberries for only $6.99 – an okay choice. Blueberries are on the Dirty Dozen list; it would be far wiser to buy organic ones. Happy Shopping!

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About Susan MacLaughlin

A health & wellness coach and workshop leader, Susan empowers people to take charge of their health.
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