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In search of inexpensive organic food… 4th Street Co-op

Yesterday I made a visit to the 4th street Co-op. I had read about it online and since they allow non-members to buy food at their store I thought I would take a trip.  I figured anything would be cheaper than whole foods.  The 4th street Co-op is a pretty small store selling organic grains, produce, and even health and beauty products.

What I really liked about the coop was that they sell a lot of organic or locally grown Japanese products. For example this konbu which comes from Maine.

They also had Japanese vegetables like eggplant, daikon radish (only $1), and burdock root.  It was actually the first time I saw burdock root that was locally grown (gobo) but it was rather small so I have to see how it is when I cook it.

They had a variety of miso from brown rice to chickpea miso!  I had never heard of this brand before “miso master” but when I checked it out online, this company actually has an online store that sells a lot of macrobiotic food.

They sell hijiki by Mitoku which is a Japanese brand that sells many Japanese food products.  Most of the things in the store are in bins and you need to scoop them and put them into bags which cost about 10 cents.  Being my first time I wasn’t aware that there weren’t any shopping bags either.  I guess people bring their own bags and containers to put the products in?

They sell organic buckwheat flour.  I wonder if this can be used to make handmade soba?

They sell a bunch of looseleaf teas and herbs.  They have a very unique and large collection of these items so I think this place might be good for people who are looking to make their own health remedies or beauty products.  I bought loose leaf rooibus tea and made cold rooibus tea yesterday!

They sell their grains and beans by the pound and you can serve yourself!  I stocked up on brown rice, millet, and barley!

Conclusion:  For what it is, the 4th street coop isn’t bad.  It’s hard to find a coop that will let non-members shop at their store.  If you are walking in with Whole Foods in your head, you will be very disappointed.  The vegetables could be fresher and I have a feeling that some of them may be the ones you can’t sell in the store because they didn’t get big enough.  But the dandelion greens were delicious and some of their veggies looked pretty good like carrots, onions, oh and especially their Japanese sweet potatoes!!  I guess if you are looking for a cheaper alternative for buying organic food, it is worth a look!

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