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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Where’s a person to get healthy food in Howard County??

First a confession.  I have been exposed to healthy lifestyle choices by my kids and have been looking at how unhealthy much of our food is these days. Trying to be a good responsible person who wants to pass on a better world to my kids and grandchildren I am gradually adjusting my food choices.  As my daughters would say I am a “junk food” vegetarian by eating more pasta and breads as a way to cut down on meat.

OK so shopping at Costco, BJ’s and Giant may not give a person best choices of fresh healthy food.  I can see that even the mainstream grocery stores are seeing the organic trend and try to promote “organic” choices.  Giant has a supposedly organic, natural line of products with its “Nature’s Promise” line of products.  I have to say I am a little skeptical of a main line grocer being the best place to buy healthier food.  It is like when the food manufacturers jumped on the low fat bandwagon only to load up the products with lots of sugar.  Of course sugar is organic and low fat.  Just not healthy.

I remember going to a place in Mt. Rainer in PG County when we lived in Riverdale, Maryland.  Much to my surprise it is still there.  The Glut Food Coop is at 4005 34th Street, Mt. Rainier, Md. 20712, (301) 779-1978.  It is just a short ride down the BW Parkway to the Riverdale Rd exit.  What you will find is a store with bins of spices that are amazing to smell.  Organic produce mostly grown locally and amazing cheeses are available. Started back in the 60’s with the back to nature crowd it still retains that flavor with its support of many peace and environmental causes.  If you are looking for a unique place to visit put on your tie dyed shirt, put in a CD of the Jefferson Airplane, pretend it is the 60's again and check it out.

In Howard County we have more “suburban” places to shop for natural foods. We are fortunate to have David’s Natural Market, which is a county institution for health conscious folks. The chain called MOM’s have been located in the shopping center at Route 1 and 175. Roots in Clarksville has a wide selection of natural organic food choices but they also carry some of the same products you can get cheaper at Giant. Great Sage restaurant is the restaurant that has gone to a vegan menu.  I am gradually trying to incorporate more vegetarian meals into my meal choices but still have trouble with giving up the eggs, cheese and milk of the vegan diet.  Interesting note that when you type “vegan” into Word it shows up as a misspelled word.  Maybe the newer version of Word has corrected that.

Maybe the best choices for fresh local food are the farmers markets that are becoming more common.  We have a few of those here in the county at the East Columbia and Glenwood libraries and at the Oakland Mills Village Center. The best farmers market locally is still the one in Baltimore on Sunday mornings under the Route 83 overpass.

For those of you that have been around the area long enough to remember Sewell’s Orchard and the pick your own fruits we still have Larriland where you can still  pick your own fruits.  The raspberries in July and August are great.

Finally for those willing to put in a little sweat equity there are always the Columbia garden plots.

A couple of sport related posts today. This catch should get Adam Jones another Gold Glove this year.  Nice to see an Oriole finally get the attention he deserves.  Willie Mays take this!

Ron Smith in the Sun comments on the Lance Armstrong drug controversy.  Is it really a secret that to be a world class cyclist that you had to use the enhancements that everyone else was using? Beating drug tests is an unfortunate part of just about every major professional sport.
There's still time to register for the Howard County Library 5K and Family Fun Run. Whether you run, jog, or walk, this event is for you! Brenda von Rautenkranz from Fit for Life will lead pre-race aerobics and calisthenics beginning at 7:45 am.
  • today at Charm City Run - Clarksville from 3 to 7 pm,
  • tomorrow at HCLS East Columbia Branch from 10 am to 5:30 pm, or 
  • Saturday from 7 to 7:45 am.
Details at
Saturday, June 4
8 am
Kick off summer reading this Saturday, June 4. Sign up for a summer reading club and participate in a day of fun, including children's stories, face painting, crafts, and activities for children, teens, and adults. Details.
Saturday, June 4
9 am - 1 pm


HowChow said...

There are lots of ways to eat healthy -- even for those of us who can't give up cheese!

My general plan is to find healthy food that I really love. That way, I eat the good stuff happily. A few other strategies people might try if they're looking to go fresh over processed and vegetables over fat:

1) Produce at Asian groceries like H Mart in Catonsville, Super Grand in Laurel, and Lotte in E.C. (in that order). Great prices on vegetables that seem to last longer. Perfect for trying new stuff. Easy on the wallet.

2) Go fish! Frank's Seafood in Jessup and Today's Catch in Columbia offer great fish. That's good for you. The Asian markets have big fish sections as well.

3) Try some restaurants where you can split the table between meat and veggies. There are many restaurants where you can order meat, but balanced with veggies instead of topped with cheese. Try pho at An Loi. Try a veggie curry and a meat dish at Bangkok Garden. Try the Korean BBQ at Shin Chon -- certainly lots of meat, but it's a feast balanced with vegetables and no cheeses, sauces or desserts.

4) Eat really great food when you splurge. Burgers at Victoria in Columbia! BBQ at Kloby's on Johns Hopkins Road!

Hoco Connect said...

Thanks for some great suggestions. I will check out some of the groceries you mentioned. I have always tried to eat fish once a week but have been concerned with the quality of fish that is farm raised in Asia and that is what many grocery stores are selling today. Guess it is time to spend a little more and go back to Frank's. You are right about the BBQ at Shin Chon that I have tried and loved. I also have on my list of splurges the burgers at Victoria. I have had one of the BGR burgers recently and highly recommend the Cuban burger.

jessie N said...

Ditto on the produce-at-asian-grocery-stores suggestion from HowChow!

JP said...

Nice post and thanks for the info. I'm looking for a good meat shop, preferably closer to 175 and I-95. Any ideas?

duanestclair said...

You can try the following:

Wagon Wheel Ranch has great free range meat

Two others to check out are:
Boarmans Meat Market
13402 Clarksville Pike
Highland, MD , 20777
(301) 854-2883

Maryland Prime Meats
1031 Ingleside Ave
Catonsville, MD , 21228
(410) 747-0600