Sunday, May 3, 2009

Surviving without Safeway: an Exploration and Ethics for Eating in DC

So, as you all probably know already, the Safeway on Wisconsin Avenue (termed by many as "social Safeway,") is going to be closed for a year during a reconstruction phase. Many Georgetown students are probably very upset about this; however, if life teaches us anything, when one door closes, many more open.

What I mean by this is that I encourage all of you to explore the many other opportunities near Georgetown--many of them not much farther away than Safeway.
-Whole Foods
-Trader Joe's
-Farmer's Markets
The first two are just about a mile away (not much farther than Safeway is), and you can get to the markets in Dupont and Foggy Bottom easily.

So what is there to discover?

Whole Foods:
If you love beautiful bright organic produce, Whole Foods is beckoning you. It is located at 2323 Wisconsin Avenue, a short walk from campus or a GUTS bus ride away (the last stop). Many people believe that Whole Foods is overpriced, but it, in some cases, is cheaper than Safeway (at least in the case of Silk soymilk). You have a wealth of organic and all-natural brands from which to choose, and, as an added plus, there are free samples of fruit and cheese EVERYWHERE. You can almost make a meal out of the samples!

If you want to venture off campus a bit, there are two other Whole Foods locations inside the district:
1) 15th & P (between Dupont and Logan Circles): You can get here by the G2 bus or a 2 mile walk (great for the good weather). What's the added bonus? There is an Asian bistro/sushi bar attached to the store--a great complement to your shopping.
2) Tenleytown: This is right next to the titular metro station; it is a 3 mile walk away, and it is accessible by the 30 buses. Added bonus?
The Art-o-mat. Sponsored by Artists in Cellophane, art-o-mats are old cigarette vending machines converted to sell fine art (books, cds, and more). (FUTURE BLOG ENTRY)
Trader Joe's is located at 25th & L, a mile from campus down M Street. Trader Joe's has the friendliest cashiers--they will almost always start up a conversation with you! Trader Joe's has free samples as well, which vary by time of day and day of the week. Trader Joe's also has excellent prices--I am always amazed at how cheap things are. If I am not mistaken, TJ's does not heat its stores (or keeps the heat low), relying on the large volume of people to keep the store heated. Many organic and natural options are available as well.

Do you want to meet the person growing your food? There are Farmer's Markets all across the DC area. Fresh Farm Markets has locations in Dupont Circle (Sunday mornings) and Foggy Bottom (Wednesday afternoons). Dupont Circle, in the past at least, has had free apples and cheese sampling, and in the fall there are great pumpkin yogurt smoothies. You can also buy food from Polyface Farms in Dupont. There are also a few more farmer's markets in Arlington, too!

So, make the most of Safeway's construction phase. Eat organically, naturally, locally (or all three), and expand your knowledge of the city a bit! You won't regret it!

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