Earth Fare, the health food grocery located right across the street from Winthrop University remodeled the entire store for a grand re-opening on Oct. 13. The already–organic grocery store went through renovations at the beginning of Oct. to sell an even bigger variety of healthy and organic foods to customers.
“The renovations include a new, more open layout to the store with a more expanded bulk section where you can package different types of spices, honeys, nut butters, plus a new juice bar, an expanded produce section, a larger wellness section with a lot of natural and herbal supplements, essential oils, etc.,” Emily Mitchell, a Winthrop environmental science major who also works in the produce department at Earth Fare, said.
Earth Fare, since the first store opened its doors, has pledged that their food is free from added hormones, artificial and trans fats, artificial sweeteners, bleached or bromated flour, antibiotics, high fructose corn syrup, artificial preservatives and artificial colors/flavors. The Earth Fare website says, “We read the labels so you don’t have to.”
Earth Fare has what they refer to as a “boot list.” On this list is a list of harmful ingredients that are often times put in processed foods. Earth Fare claims they have this list to make sure no “bad” ingredients are put into any food they sell under the Earth Fare brand products at their store.
Emily Mitchell mentions that Earth Fare is good for the environment in some ways, however, they are not perfect.
“[Earth Fare] recycle most of our containers and eliminate as much food waste as possible; like putting unused fruit in smoothies or veggies in stir fry mix, stuff like that,” Mitchell said.
Earth Fare is also known for providing an abundance of local food. While many grocery chains will describe their local produce as being “local” even if it was grown in another state over 150 miles away. Earth Fare’s local food is typically food that was actually grown in South Carolina and specifically in York County.
“Earth Fare tries to sell as much local produce as possible including our honey crisp apples from a local orchard which are a big seller, as well as corn and green beans from farms in the Upstate,” Mitchell said.
Although Earth Fare is expensive and is to not necessarily catered towards college students on a budget, it can sometimes be made affordable. It may not be possible for the majority of college students to afford shopping at Earth Fare weekly for groceries. However, buying a few items a week or a month from Earth Fare can be made possible. Earth Fare has weekly and monthly deals posted on their website that students can take advantage of. For example, on Fridays Earth Fare has $6 “take and bake pizzas.” Earth Fare also has a 5 percent off an entire purchase student discount on Tuesdays, although the specificity of the day for this discount may depend on the Earth Fare location.
“I think Earth Fare has a stigma of being way pricier than other chain grocery stores and it is a bit more expensive, but if [Winthrop students] take advantage of the bulk items and constant sales, it can end up being affordable, even for [Winthrop students],” Mitchell said.
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