How This Dietician Changed the Way She Shopped for Groceries During a Pandemic
Welcome to our series #CartedByT30, where experts, influencers, and anyone who just really knows how to nail down a grocery list show us exactly what goes in their carts. Tune in to our Instagram to see their weekly haul from their favorite grocery store, farmer's market, or online food retailer and to find out how much it really costs to eat healthily.
As we begin to close out an incredibly challenging and daunting year, we can't help but to reflect on just how much has changed since January. Routines have upended, and priorities have shifted. Through it all, we've had to adapt over and over again. Even an ordinary ritual like grocery shopping has undoubtedly been affected drastically, and we were curious to see how people have navigated in the wake of this global pandemic.
We tapped Maya Feller, MS, RD, CDN, a registered dietician nutritionist, author, and nationally recognized nutrition expert, to see how she's adapted her grocery shopping habits during COVID-19 while still managing to buy locally and sustainably. Keep scrolling to see how and where Feller shops for seasonal produce now and all the pantry essentials she can't live without.
My Personal Food Philosophy
My food philosophy for my family of four is to incorporate high-quality, seasonal, and fresh produce into our diets as often and as much as possible. Since I do cook most days of the week, we really try to eat everything we buy.
Overall, we are a plant-forward family, as one of us is a vegetarian. We'll also have fresh seafood twice a week since I do love it. For seafood that's farm raised, I'll always look for the ASC certification so that I know that fishery is engaged in responsible aquaculture. In the same vein, if it's wild seafood, I'll look for MSC certifications.
On the rare occasion that we eat meat and poultry, I will purchase them from small and local farmers who prioritize sustainable farming practices.
How I Shopped for Healthy Groceries Before COVID-19
Like many New Yorkers, I traveled the boroughs with ease on the subway or a city bike. I’ve even been known to walk home across the Williamsburg Bridge after teaching.
I was an avid and strong supporter of the Park Slope Food Co-op, the U.S.’s largest member-run food co-op. I purchased all of my food there and also volunteered the equivalent of two hours and 45 minutes every month to maintain membership. I’m a big believer in having an understanding of the journey of my food from the farm to my table.
My Favorite Ways to Shop for Seasonal Produce Now
When the pandemic began and New York majorly slowed down, like many others, I transitioned to shopping online and having my groceries delivered.
In the early months of the pandemic, I was ordering in bulk from Baldor Foods and sharing the larger quantities with my neighbors. Then, a friend of mine from a neighborhood Italian restaurant told me about Chef Collective, which is a smaller outlet that sources its foods directly from the supplier. Think farmstead cheese, locally sourced and pastured meats, and heirloom vegetables.
Farms boxes like the ones from Chef Collective are seasonal and have an array of colorful options chosen by farmers who are focused on peak season quality and freshness. A typical Farmer's Haul Box ($250) contains enough fruits and vegetables that my family needs for seven to 10 days of breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I'll usually supplement it with their other boxes for additional fresh herbs, mushrooms, avocados, eggs, and more.
Other Weekly Essentials