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How Many of the Country's Healthiest Grocery Chains Are in LA?

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Yesterday Health Magazine (via iVillage/MSNBC) released their list of the nation's top ten healthiest grocery chains. The list was compiled based on the findings of six experts selected by the publication in comparing the top 35 grocery retailers, and revealed that your neighborhood big name big box can actually be good for you. Criteria for ranking included "the freshness of produce and taste of prepared foods to the healthiness of packaged goods and availability of supplemental nutritional information."

Of the ten selected, half have locations in Southern California of which only four have locations in Los Angeles proper: #1 Whole Foods; #2 Safeway (Vons); #4 Trader Joe's; #6 Albertson's; and #10 SuperTarget (not in LA, but in Palmdale, Moreno Valley, Hesperia, & Apple Valley, etc.)

Noticeably absent from the list is the local love-it-or-hate-it Fresh & Easy chain, which includes having healthy, fresh, and affordable food available in highly populated and often underserved areas as part of their overall business plan.

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While it's not surprising that Whole Foods (aka "Whole Paycheck") tops the list, it is interesting to see familiar chain names like Vons and Albertson's figure rather prominently in the rankings. Of course, depending on what really goes into your shopping cart (i.e. chocolate truffles, imported cheeses, frozen pizza, donuts, soda, or chips) no matter how fresh it is or how prominent the nutritional values are displayed, it's still up to the shoppers to seek out the healthy options themselves.

Photo of Whole Foods in Pasadena by Callie Miller/LAist