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Saturday, September 15, 2012

MOM's offers organic, environmentally friendly groceries

Organic produce at MOM's Market.

MOM’s Organic Market, the grocery store that opened in the Mosaic District in Merrifield Sept. 14, puts a high value on organic food and environmentally friendly practices. 

And that means it doesn’t sell bottled water. [In case you’re not familiar with the harm of bottled water: It creates a huge amount of waste, much of it ending up in the ocean. It requires a huge consumption of gasoline to ship around the world. And it’s no healthier than tap water in the U.S.]

“We know our customers would not like not having the opportunity to purchase water,” says the company’s environmental director, Charis Smith, so MOM’s provides one free gallon of “reverse osmosis filtered water” per customer with free refills every day.

The store is having demonstrations and raffles all weekend. Among the companies handing out samples: Honest Tea, Caprikorn Farms (goat cheese), Michelle’s Granola, Lattimore Farms (apple products), Cava Mezze (hummus), Country Vintner, Ayrshire Farms (organic, free-range chicken), Traeger Brothers Coffee, and Salazon Chocolate.

Bruce Gangl of Peak Organic Brewing Co., of Portland, Maine, hands out samples of Nut Brown Ale.
“We strive to purchase organic whenever possible,” says Smith. That means “it has to be USDA-certified organic with no chemicals or pesticides.”

Fresh fruits and vegetables are unpackaged to reduce the use of plastic. Only sustainable seafood is sold. And only compostable supplies, like cups and utensils, are stocked.  A lot of items, like grains, can be purchased in bulk to reduce packaging waste.

There’s a Naked Lunch counter in the store featuring organic sandwiches (beet burgers, black bean burgers), rice bowls, raw juices, and muffins.

According to Smith, 100 percent of the energy used by the store comes from wind power. The store purchases renewal energy credits through a company called Clean Currents.

Radishes, giant golden beets, horseradish roots, and large turnips.
Smith concedes that some of these environmentally friendly practices come with a cost, but she says, “people who believe in protecting the environmental will pay a little extra.” However, she adds, “we don’t price gouge. We price-match with any competitors.”

The Merrifield store is the ninth MOMs in the region and the third in Virginia. The other Virginia stores are in Alexandria and Herndon.

Another store already open in the Mosaic District is Freshbikes. The Angelika Film Center officially opens to the public Sept. 21, but has already been showing advance previews.

Most of the other shops in the Mosaic District are set to open by the end of the year:

Several shops are scheduled to open in September, including Dolcezza (gelato), Red Apron (butcher), Sweetgreen (salads), and Eagle Bank.

Freshbikes sells high-end bicycles and supplies.
Stores scheduled to open in October include Target, Last Call Studio by Neiman Marcus, Ginger, Dawn Price Baby, Lou Lou (accessories), Timothy Paul (carpeting, bedding, stuff for the home), Langford Market, South Moon Under, B Black Restaurant Group, Taylor (gourmet deli), and Artisan Confections.

Three more restaurants, Le Pain Quotidien, Cyclone Anaya’s, and Cava Mezze Grill, are slated to open in November, along with Anthropologie and Paper Source. Another restaurant, RJ Cooper is scheduled to open in March.

1 comment:

  1. Stanford study says - buy it for the taste - but organic food the biggest sham since bottled water!