Earth Fare – Keeping That Food Close to the Ground

My husband has been meeting my father-in-law at the Corner Pocket (my father-in-law’s daily routine) frequently. I started noticing, when I would drop by, that the old Circuit City was being transformed into an Earth Fare Supermarket. I have always been a bigger fan of food than electronics, so this development worked for me! I began tweeting them pictures of their evolving store to @earthfareTAL. By photographic standards, these first pictures were pretty primitive, but lo and behold someone was at Earthfare’s Twitter handle and they started talking back to me!

Over the past couple of years, I have read some books and seen some documentaries that have impacted the way I think about food. When Tenley and I watched Super Size Me together, I was forced to be more aware of the business practices in the fast food industry, practices that jeopardize my and my children’s health for the sake of profit. Ever since reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma, no McDonald’s chicken nugget has crossed these lips, and the inverse relationships between businesses’ hunger for profit and concern for my and my family’s well-being has become even more obvious. When Barbara Kingsolver resolved to forgo bananas for a year, as discussed in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle because she and her family had resolved to “deliberately eat food produced in the place where they lived” and bananas could  not be produced in their region, I wondered even more about how my food choices impacted the world around me, not to mention the concepts my children were absorbing about how food should fit into our lives.

I have never been quite as bad as the character in Sophia Kinsella’s “Undomestic Goddess” who truly does not realize that strawberries originate somewhere other than the little uniform tubs at the grocery store. I did have the good fortune to have a grandparent who still farmed when I was a little girl, so I saw a bit of that life and I shelled a few hundred buckets of peas during my childhood (felt like hundreds, anyway!).  Where does Earthfare come in, you are probably asking.

They come into the mix because they sell foods that are:

“as close to the ground as it gets”
And because one of the eight components of their food philosophy is:
“NO inhumane treatment of the animals providing us with dairy, meat and eggs”
(I feel especially strongly about this one after Pollan book opened my eyes
to the food industry’s treatment of cattle.)
And because I feel good about supporting a new entrant into Tallahassee’s food scene whose mission is:
“To feed and inspire the healthy person inside us all.” 

And because Earth Fare Tallahassee has demonstrated, including giving me my first sip of kombucha, that they are earnest to engage with our community. 

Earth Fare Tallahassee has provided me a $50 gift card to share with one of my readers! To enter for the giveaway, please do at least one of these:

1) Tell me in the comments something that has changed the way you look at food
2) Which of the eight components of EF’s food philosophy is the most important to you as a    consumer? Tell me in the comments.
3) Comment on this: If you were participating in an Earth Fare “pantry makeover,” which of these items are currently in your pantry that you would take to Earth Fare for a healthier replacement:

  • peanut butter with hydrogenated oil
  • soda with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
  • cereal with HFCS
  • salad dressing with HFCS or partially hydrogenated oils
  • jelly with HFCS

Please leave your email address in the comment as well (use this format to avoid spammers: email at emailprovider dot com). I will use to choose the winner.

The giveaway will end at midnight on Wednesday, January 5. I will contact the winner by email; if the winner does not respond within 72 hours, I will choose another.

So come on, let’s talk healthy eating and see how we “FARE”!

22 thoughts on “Earth Fare – Keeping That Food Close to the Ground

  1. 1) Reading Fast Food Nation and learning more about factory farming. Since then, I have found it very difficult to eat fast food and base my puchasing decisions on where the meat came from/how the animal was treated.
    2) Salad dressing.
    3) #8.

    Thanks for a great post!

  2. Another thoughtful post. I haven't been in yet.

    1. Super Size Me was scary. And changed the way we used fast food.
    2. Jelly
    3. The one about no artificial sweeteners, flavorings, etc. Although the no trans fat is a close second.

    Cadurrett @ comcast . net

  3. It sounds like we share a similar reading list, Paula. I loved Animal, Vegetable, Mineral but agree with commenter Schmitty that Fast Food Nation was the book that really changed my eating habits. I try to buy humanely raised meat whenever I can. I also enjoyed Sophie Kinsella's Undomestic Goddess.

    My parents were hobby farmers when I was growing up so I too have picked and preserved my share of veggies (peas, beans, beats, corn, you name it). This makes me picky even today about the food I eat!

    Ever since my son was a baby I have tried to keep antibiotics and growth hormones out of our diets as well (EF principle #4).

    Thanks for sharing this great post and contest!

    amz at case dot edu

  4. 1.)Super Size me has certainly kept me away from the fast food chains. However, currently I am learning more about how sugar is the main cause of belly fat. Since I seem to prefer to store all of my fat right in the midsection, I have become more aware of the foods I eat that hide sugar.
    2.)Sodas-although I was at Earth Fare last week and was introduced to Mexican Coke by the nicest retail woman I have ever met. Yes, Mexican Coke is still loaded with sugar, but it is real sugar and not HFCS. Mexican Coke is also sold in those fabulous glass bottles we used to always drink out of as kids.
    3.) No HFCS of course.

  5. 1.) My connections with food have been changing over many years, a long process which has enabled me to be more open & enlightened to change, beginning with the diagnosis of high cholesterol & hypothyroidism about 7 years ago. Since then, I've first cut down on fat & the amount of meat I eat, then I cut out about 95% of my sugars & white flours, etc. (which helped me lose over 30 lbs!), then I watched Super Size Me with my son for a homeschool project & cut out over 95% of my fast food eating. I like where I'm headed & love that I am setting a good example & can share what I'm learning with my son so he can learn more at an earlier age!
    2.) 'NO inhumane treatment of the animals providing us with dairy, meat and eggs'. I've attempted to become mostly vegetarian on several occasions beginning 20 years ago, b/c of the treatment of animals. The more I learn, the more empowered I feel to make better choices.
    3.) I'd take all of those items for replacement! I don't think I have anything with HFCS in my house but I did mean to check to be sure…we may have some cereal that my son eats, now that I think about it!

    paul_and_tamara at yahoo dot com

  6. Paula:
    You never cease to amaze me with your boundless energy!!!
    1. I read Michael Pollen's book “Food Rules” and loved it…and quite frankly I am scared to watch Fast Food Nation or Super Size Me. Although we are making slow progress, our family is trying desparately to make changes in the way we eat.
    2. Salad dressing
    3. #4…with #8 very close behind.

    debandgino at comcast dot mail

  7. I had a very interesting biology teacher in high school who taught us the horrors of hydrogenated oils, and I have been the victim of loving jokes from friends and family since, for my stubborn resistance of what they call “the dreaded hydrogies.”
    But – over the years a few have come to recognize it to, and now join me in my “phobia”. 🙂
    (To be clear – I'm not actually afraid of hydrogenated oils, lol. They're mocking how I check every food's ingredients before purchase!)

    Chosen7Stone AT gmail DOT com

  8. I am relieved that this is a random drawing, because I *know* I could make better choices in what I serve my family. However, I am doing better, and if we are going to eat meat, we make sure that we do our best to guarantee that it is humanely raised. There is certainly room for improvement, but each informed step brings us closer to being more conscientious consumers!

  9. 1) Did a lot of research this year while going through a health problem. While the problem ultimately wound up being congenital, my reading opened my eyes up to some of the yucky food choices I make. I've cut back significantly on meat, artificial sweeteners, and sodas.
    2) No animal by-products in pet foods. My pets have looked and felt much better because we upgraded the quality of their food.
    3) soda…

    ddpickle at gmail dot com

  10. Here is my two cents, and my fingers are crossed.

    1. Traveling has changed the way I look at food- Food is front center of the family, it is enjoyed, its uncomplicated and it is real. The term “Diet” is used only for people with a medical condition, it is not a way of life.

    2. Salad dressings.

    3. #4- No antibiotics, synthetic growth hormones or animal by products

  11. 1) i started to look at what i ate when i started having acid reflux and migraines. acid reflux led to hiatal hernia surgical repair and migraines sent me to a Neurologist and on meds until I discovered [quite by accident] that the migraines were cause by artificial sweeteners. food has always had a hold on me, i eat when happy, sad, and everything in between. i also have read Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle which opened .my eyes to organic foods but it was Temple Grandin's Animals in Translations and Animals Make Us Human: Creating the Best Life for Animals that made a change how i think about food. i am getting better at watching what i eat 'cept at Christmas as eggnog is a real killer, i do buy the low fat and will think hard about making my own low sugar nog next year.
    2) most of the items listed on the pantry makeover i already buy….low fat, low sugar/sugar free
    3) 'cept peanut butter [another weakness] so i'll look to see what Earth Fare has to offer.

    jcalvin at embarqmail dot com

  12. Great job, Paula! Thanks for getting us to think about food & for publicizing this great store! I think they will be on board as sponsors of the Springtime 10K/5K/1-Mile Races.
    1) I did see Super Size Me & it opened my eyes to various things but reading the labels on foods is what really helped me decide what's good & what isn't.
    2) #1 & #8
    3) Jelly & salad dressing with HFCS

    Thanks for caring, Paula!

    judy (

  13. 1. I am afraid to see Super Size me…I could only read about 3/4 of Fast Food Nation before I was sick and disillusioned with the world!

    2. I am proud to say that my kitchen is 100% clean. My pantry does not need a makeover!

    3. Number 3 – there is just no reason to eat frankenfood.

  14. 1) I changed way I look at foods when I chose to “try” organic and move toasted a healthier me….I bought Ezekiel bread. And also rudy's whole wheat bread. I noticed the loaf was smaller and I went out of town for the weekend and came back (4days later) it was covered in green mold. My regular other whole wheat breads NEVER did that. So I started to think about what chemicals were being used to “preserve” shelf life in food may not really be all that good for my body! So needless to say I really sTarting researching the chemicals used in everyday food and quickly decided I wanted to get rid of all the non sense and eat “closer to the earth”

    2)no high fructose corn syrup: I don't need anything chemically tricking my body to never get full! I enjoy eating well on my own!!! I also enjoy the flavor of natural food. I don't any extra chemicals to make it taste better so I eat/drink it!!! Get back to basics and enjoy the gifts from above!!!

    3) peanut butter with hydrogenated oils!!

  15. 1) Reading. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle; Food Rules and Eating Animals were all on my 2010 reading list.

    2)#4- NO antibiotics, synthetic growth hormones or animal by-products in the feed (fresh meats & milk)

    3) peanut butter with hydrogenated oil

    mle.anderson at gmail dot com

  16. growing up in a family of 9 we also did a lot of gardening and ate healthier than I do now. Mom always said 'you are what you eat” ugh what have I become.

    #2 #4 No antibotics, synthetics, etc

    #3 pb&j

  17. My husband was diagnosed earlier this year with and IBD. I've been doing a lot of research on my own about the disease and time and time again I have found patients with the same condition who cut out HFCS, paritally hydrogenated oils, refined sugars, etc. and were able to manage their disease and in some instances even go into complete remission. This has definitely changed my views on food, I have become an obsessive label reader and I've started cooking at home more instead of eating out.

    This comment is from Deborah Jamison!

    scottlynnd at gmail dot com

  18. 1) I have always tried to eat locally grown products etc, but my food world was rocked when I read “Skinny Bitch”. My entire family even switched to a vegan diet. Although we do not still eat completely vegan diet, we definitely now eat a veggie centered meal plan. 2) number 8. 3)peanut butter

  19. Hi Paula,

    Thanks for providing this contest. 1) I read Fast Food Nation and saw Super Size Me. As a result I rarely eat fast food anymore. It sickens me. I try to eat out as little as possible. Nutrition has always interested me to the point of obtaining a few degrees in it:-)
    2) I don't have any of those items in my pantry.
    I still need to check out Earthfare's principles.


    bethalex411 at gmail dot com

  20. Hey Paula! Seeing the movie super size me freaked me out (I hate Mcdonalds anyways). As far as my pantry….I probably have all of the above as far as foods with partially hydrogenated oils and HFCS. Having two small children has really opened my eyes to the importance of what we put in our bodies. So far, I haven't found anything at Earthfare that I didn't like and we are so excited to welcome this new, “healthy” store (especially to our side of town!). Thanks for all your interest and support.
    Robyn Griffin

  21. Coming to this party late, but would like to say most impacted by The China Study and would replace the cereal, not the peanut butter, because forgoing peanut butter, esp. for meat and dairy consumers, is probably a good idea as it contains aflatoxin, one of the most carcinogenic agents known to man. Not such a big deal for vegans. Wanna know why? Read the China Study. Eating locally would be the big thing for me. Eating locally, eating plants only, and minimizing or eliminating processed vegan foods are three simple acts that can rid and reverse horrible, life-threatening diseases and can change your life forever. Watch Food, Inc. I think perhaps it addresses the sustainability of the meat, egg and dairy industry. You can feed a lot more people a lot more healthily via plants. Animals are very expensive to raise and contribute to diseases of affluence (heart disease, cancer, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, etc.).

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