This Wednesday Whole Foods is opening a large new store in downtown Los Angeles. According to an article written in the LA Times, the new branch will be part of a luxury apartment complex project occupying most of the block surrounding 8th and Grand. This site boasts a restaurant, a full service bar, a coffee shop, and a juice bar.

Soon downtown Angelenos will have even more options to choose from on their lunch break. With so many opportunities to indulge ahead of us, let’s take a minute to focus on our health.

Sure it may seem like the healthy choice to stop by the Whole Foods juice bar for a fresh juice on your break, however, let me tell you why your body, community, and the planet will thank you later for choosing to support small local juice bars instead.

What you put in your body matters and where you decide to spend your money makes a difference.

One such promising replacement is the shortened/local food supply chain, which outperforms the global supply chain in arenas such as energy, environmental sustainability, and food wastage.

When considering the healthiest option for the costumer, community, and the environment, we must first investigate the source and quality of the produce, as well as the journey from soil to plate.

In the heart of DTLA there is an organic market called Urban Radish and a local juice shop called, Green Grotto Juice Bar. GGJB believes sourcing locally ensures the freshest and most nutritious products for their customers. Not only is it healthier to eat locally grown fruits and veggies, it is much better for the environment as well.

While Whole Foods provides some local options, they have a robust section of non-organic products sourced from all over the globe. You simply cannot be sure when getting your juice from a large grocery store like Whole Foods, that all the produce comes from local sources. Many of the organic produce sold in SoCal often comes from Mexico. When the process from the farmer to the consumer is segmented and complicated, the environment as well as the quality of the produce suffer.

It is becoming pretty clear that the current large-scale method of supplying agriculture to the public is no longer sustainable and a shift towards small-scale local production is necessary.

David Nicholson from Northeastern University in his article titled, The Necessity of a Shorter Food Supply Chain states, “One such promising replacement is the shortened/local food supply chain, which outperforms the global supply chain in arenas such as energy, environmental sustainability, and food wastage.”

As a consumer, when you make a purchase, you cast a vote. Actually two votes. You cast one vote for your body and one for your planet. It is up to us to take responsibility to do what we can individually by choosing to spend our money in ways that matter. By supporting local business in your community, you do your body and environment a big favor.

Luckily, you’re covered at Green Grotto Juice Bar. The Grotto and local shops and markets alike, like to keep it simple. You can come by and meet your neighbors and the owner in one rad place, all while indulging in a healthy Organic Juice for under $10 that is sourced locally.

So instead of getting stuck in the crowds at Whole Foods this week, reconsider your power as a consumer and choose to cast a healthy vote for your body, your community, and your planet—You’ll feel the difference.

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