Caught at the Fresh Market: Organic and Conventional Produce Mingling

At this point, we are all aware that eating organic produce, meats, and dairy products are better for us. Whether you choose to pay the extra money for these goods is another story. If you live an organic lifestyle, you might be surprised to learn that several so-called eco-groceries are putting your pesticide-free produce at risk.

Organic and nonorganic produce mingling at the Fresh Market in Coconut Grove.
Organic and nonorganic produce mingling at the Fresh Market in Coconut Grove.
Photos by Jacquelynn D. Powers

Alerted by an article in Consumer Reports magazine that all grocers are legally required to separately stack organic fruits and vegetables away from conventional produce, Short Order recalled that at The Fresh Market in Coconut Grove this was not always the case. Their produce section does in fact combine organic and non-organic products together, all under a misting system that allows water runoff from the conventional items to contaminate the supposedly all-natural ones. We saw at least three examples of this during a shopping expedition to the Coconut Grove location.

Another example.
Another example.
Short Order called the Fresh Market to see what in hell is going on. After all, if we are going to shell out more cash for organic produce, it had better be the real deal!

According to Drewry Sackett, PR/community relations manager for the Fresh Market, "The Fresh Market strives to provide our customers with a selection of both organic and conventional produce options, and to follow standards for adequate product separation. In our coolers and on the sales floor, our policy is that organic and conventional products do not touch or co-mingle and barriers should be present to separate conventional products from organic. We provide detailed instructions for our stores to follow and audit their compliance frequently. We are following up with our store in Coconut Grove to ensure they are storing and displaying produce according to our company's policy."

Note to the Fresh Market: Pictures don't lie.

The Fresh Market
2640 S. Bayshore Dr., Coconut Grove


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