Grocery Shopping Week 1: Walmart

>> Friday, September 19, 2008

Walmart scores:
Better World Shopper: F
Co-op America's Responsible Shopper: C for environment, F for ethics and governance, F for health and safety, F for greenwashing

Distance from my house: 4 miles (9 minutes)

To get a good base to compare to, I decided to do my grocery shopping at Walmart this week. I don't usually shop at Walmart (unless I'm visiting my parents in Small Town, KY where it's the only place to shop). The last place we lived didn't have any Walmarts in a reasonable vicinity, so I first gave up Walmart shopping out of convenience. Then I watched a documentary about how Walmart is destroying the American economy and read many other things about Walmart's bad business practices, and pretty soon, Walmart became the epitome of shopping evil in my mind. Not to mention that it is always crowded (and I hate crowds), the cashiers give me evil looks about my cloth bags, and the overall store quality makes me feel dirty. So basically, shopping at Walmart makes me feel icky, but I was willing to make this moral sacrifice for the sake of my blog.

Despite all the ads I've seen lately about Walmart's organics, their organic selection at my local store was few and far between. I did find milk without growth hormones (but not organic), organic carrots (in a plastic bag*), and organic baby cereal, but that was about it. I do buy some produce at the grocery store and will buy more come winter, so I took a glance around the produce. The bananas (which I buy a lot of every week) were nasty, but overall the selection was pretty good, just not organic. I forgot to look for fair trade chocolate chips, but I'll be sure to do that at the next grocery store.

Here's what I bought:

tofu
cheddar cheese (4 cup bag)
frozen apple juice (2)
frozen orange juice
butter
milk
applesauce
baby food (7 jars)
organic baby cereal (2 boxes)
tortillas (family pack)
cereal (2 boxes)
organic yogurt**
avocado
organic carrots
bananas
mushrooms

Total $42.52***

*This drives me crazy! Why do they take something good and put it in awful packaging? Organic carrots in a plastic bag. 100% recycled toilet paper individually wrapped in plastic. Free range eggs in a styrofoam carton. What are they thinking?

**Normally, I make my own yogurt, but the yogurt maker is on the fritz right now.

***I also buy about $30 worth of fruits and vegetables and eggs at the farmers market.

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