Which Organic-Seeming Chain Grocery Store in Dallas Is the Most Organic?

traderjoesmasses.jpg
Alice Laussade
Now that Dallas finally has a Trader Joe's, we can more easily eat all-natural, non-GMO, pesticide-free veggies and meat that roamed freely across organic pastures before it was gently killed, right? Actually, no. Trader Joe's is one of those grocery stores that seems all organic-y, because it has tasteful decorations, happy salespeople and lots of different random health claims on its products.

But the chain has been pissing off food safety advocates by selling meat from animals raised on antibiotics, a practice that is not organic. So let's compare Trader Joe's with other specialty grocery stores in Dallas. Which organic-y grocery store chain is actually selling you organics?

(And here's a quick primer: Organic produce just means produce not sprayed with pesticides and other crap, while organic meat is from animals fed organic feed and given no drugs or synthetic hormones.)

Central Market:
Central Market has a glorious produce section with more than 150 varieties of "seasonal organics."

When it comes to meat, CM's website also assures you that "you can feel good about buying any meat that bears our name" because the animals are raised "without added hormones or antibiotics and fed a strict diet according to our own strict specifications." Sounds good. But wait, what do they mean by meat that bears "our name" -- is that all the meat products sold in Central Market, or just the Central Market-brand meat?

Asked to clarify their policy on meat, the Central Market press team sent us a statement that touts having "GMO free" produce but doesn't really answer our meat question. "Central Market is continuing efforts to make organics more prevalent for all customers," the statement says.

Whole Foods:
Like Central Market, Whole Foods is a chain founded in Texas that's popular among the skinny yuppie dinner-party-hosting crowd. But Central Market's organic claims are super weak compared to those from Whole Foods.

"At Whole Foods Market, our standard is clear: No antibiotics, EVER!" writes Chief Operating Officer AC Gallo, in a firm blog post clearly outlining Whole Food's no antibiotics-in-meat policy.

In fact, the entire chain of Whole Foods has even been certified as organic under the California Certified Organic Farmers trade group. That doesn't mean that everything in the store is organic, but it does mean that Whole Foods has a decent organic selection and super anal policies in place such as "we go to great lengths to ensure that organic and conventional products never touch."

The company also works with the global animal partnership, a certification program that ensures that animals are treated nicely before they are killed and eaten.

As an extra health bonus not related to organics, Whole Foods also has an online list of "ingredients that Whole Foods Market finds unacceptable in food products." That is fierce.

Location Info

Central Market

5750 E. Lovers Lane, Dallas, TX

Category: Restaurant

Sprouts Farmers Market

11722 Marsh Lane, Dallas, TX

Category: General

Whole Foods

8190 Park Lane, Dallas, TX

Category: Restaurant


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23 comments
ballsaggath
ballsaggath

i only eat organic raccoon and squirrel from the creek

primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

Spiceman's at 1410 Fitzhugh. Anything from his farm.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

I have a problem with "no antibiotics ever."  I get the antibiotics worries -- giving animals that aren't sick antibiotics "just in case" is a Bad Thing.  It leads to all sorts of bad consequences.  However, giving a SICK animal an appropriate course of antibiotics is a GOOD thing.  This whole antibiotics hysteria hurts that, and I think it is likely to be introducing sick animals into the "organic" food chain.

Organic is a marketing term, nothing more.  The best gauge you have for how healthy something is your own mouth.  Good things taste good.  Grass fed beef tastes better than feed lot beef.  That's enough reason to get it over the generic stuff.  Good produce is good produce, and sometimes keeping the bugs off of it is more important than what MIGHT be left after you get done washing them.

Forget "organic" and start looking for QUALITY.  Going straight organic is just trading one set of problems for another.

Michelle Rose Young
Michelle Rose Young

I shop at all three. I do my own research and decide what is best for my family. The key is to understand what all those terms like "cage-free, GMO free, etc" mean.

Organ
Organ

What about Annes health store on 35 and Zang. BY FAR the Best in dallas

thrux
thrux

Organic is, overall, terrible for the environment. Without hardly any scientific evident showing its healthier for you,  I try to avoid it as much as I can.

darkwingduck
darkwingduck

You guys totally missed Green Grocer! They're one of the only independent food stores in DFW, and I bet their organic/non-organic ratio beats the pants of most of the ones you list above! 

xmantx
xmantx

TJ's ain't all that. Sprouts on Henderson is crowd free and works great for me. Save a lot of money and check it out.

Jacksondog
Jacksondog

I went to Trader Joe's for the first time yesterday looking for organic fruit and to see what they had.Very little.The jar of smooth Trader Joe Almond Butter I bought is still liquid after being stirred and 14 hrs in the fridge. It was just a little,not well stocked grocery.Sucks.Almond Butter is inedible. 

Jennifer Collins
Jennifer Collins

Whole Foods Market sells the largest selection by far and is the first grocer to voluntarily submit themselves to a yearly certified organic audit in every single location. Every Team Member is trained in organics to prevent co-mingling and contamination in the front of the house and the back of the house.

Warren Johnson
Warren Johnson

so you're relying on them to tell you? Some super investigative reporting.

MarkR9
MarkR9

How about Natural Grocers?  And Green Grocers?

It would also be great to see the same article on organic restaurants.  I've been suspicious a time or two that a restaurant (or "grill") is not organic when they say they are.

Brooke Carlock
Brooke Carlock

What about Natural Grocers? I was actually just researching them having never been, and it looks as though they only sell organic produce. Gonna check them out soon. I currently do the majority of my shopping at Sprouts.

Matt A Hale
Matt A Hale

If you dig deeper, Central Market and Whole Foods actually do a lot of checking on anyone they buy from. I know the chicken is safe, as my wife would have issues otherwise.

Ambelleina Warwillow
Ambelleina Warwillow

I'm a WF gal, for sure. Still, be aware of what you buy and know what terms mean to the USDA. Cage-free/free range eggs does NOT equal pastured hens.

primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

You can make that in a day driving the right car to Dallas from Mexico.

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