These 12 Grocery Stores Sell the Most Organic Produce—and Yes, Costco Makes the List!

Nowadays, if you want to adhere to a certain diet or seek out a specific type of food, you can find it nearly anywhere. Take, for example, chain grocery stores: Many of them are now carrying more organic produce than ever before.

But if you’re not already an organic devotee, you might be wondering: What exactly makes produce organic?

“Organic produce has a specific set of qualifications that must be met, such as they must be produced without genetic engineering, ionizing radiation, synthetic pesticides or chemical fertilizers,” explains Tonya Harris, environmental toxin expert.

She adds that instead, organic products must be made using agricultural production that minimizes the use of synthetic materials while conserving biodiversity or the ecological variety and variability that maintains and improves the quality of soil and water, supports ecological balance and minimizes the use of synthetic materials.

Who oversees the certification of this produce, which can come with labels like “100 percent organic,” “organic,” “made with organic,” and “organic ingredients”? Harris says that the organic industry is overseen by authorized agents of the National Organic Program (NOP), which is part of USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service and follows all USDA organic regulations.

Samantha Schleiger MS, RDN, CD, CLT, IFNCP is an integrative and functional medicine dietitian and the owner of her private practice, Simply Nourished. She says that when you see an organic seal on any food, it indicates that it’s certified organic and has 95% or more organic content.

“Certified organic produce is grown on soil that has been free of prohibited substances for three years prior to harvest to prevent contamination,” she says.

Grocery stores across the nation have come to realize that organic eating is becoming increasingly popular. According to a study from Pew Research Center, as of 2018, 45% of Americans believed that organic food is better for one’s health. The USDA has said that organic sales comprise over 4% of overall food sales in the United States. They also report that three out of every four conventional grocery stores carry organic products, with fresh fruit and vegetables leading the way as the top-selling category.

“Over the last decade, many grocery stores have significantly increased the amount of organic produce available,” Schleiger notes. “Obviously, this will largely depend on where you live. But my advice is to do a little research and see where your local or favored grocery store sources their organic produce.”

If your local grocery store has yet to carry a selection of organic produce, Schleiger recommends seeking out local farmers, joining a CSA, or signing up for an organic produce delivery service, like Misfits Market or Imperfect Foods.

Related: What Does 'Organic' Actually Mean?

So, what are the health benefits of eating organic foods? Harris says that while there is some debate about whether organic is really worth it, in her opinion, “it’s not only whether organic has more nutrients—but it’s also important to note what it doesn’t contain.”

She cites a 2014 study, which showed that organic produce contains significantly more vitamin C, iron and magnesium while being contaminated with fewer pesticides, nitrates and heavy metals—all things that are detrimental to one’s health and can even cause cancer.

Schleiger says that according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), nearly 70% of fresh produce in America contains residues of potentially harmful pesticides. “These pesticides are known to disrupt hormones such as estrogen in many ways,” she says.

Harris says that when one does decide to go organic, those potentially harmful pesticide levels can drop pretty quickly. She says, “One study has shown that after just one week of eating organic produce, pesticide levels in participants’ urine dropped by almost 60%.”

Related: The 2024 'Dirty Dozen' and Why It May Be Misleading

In addition to being beneficial to one’s body, eating organic food can help the planet as well.

Harris says, “Fewer pesticides and a larger variety of plants promotes more biodiversity, resulting in better soil quality. Pollution from fertilizer or pesticide run-off is also reduced and promotes better soil quality.”

Schleiger says that organic farming helps to reduce exposure to pesticides and chemicals, builds nutrient-dense soil, combats erosion and global warming, supports water conservation and supports animal health and welfare.

She goes on to explain, “Pesticides and chemicals sprayed on plants can cause a build-up of disease resistance and can contaminate the soil, water supply and air. It also discourages smart farming practices (e.g., covering crops, crop rotation, etc.), which may lead to erosion.”

Organic farming also helps protect ecosystems, in which insects, birds, and other animals benefit. “Organic farming can help to preserve natural habitats and allow them to grow optimally,” Schleiger says.

Related: When to Buy Organic & More Tips for Healthy Grocery Shopping on a Budget

When you think of organic produce, Costco may not immediately come to your mind, but as it turns out, it’s one of the top organic produce suppliers.

“Surprisingly, Costco has a large variety of organic produce and compares to well-known stores such as Whole Foods,” Harris says. In fact, in 2016, Costco surpassed Whole Foods in its organic food sales.

Whole Foods Market tends to be a gold standard for purveying organic produce—and for good reason. It’s actually “the first and only certified organic national grocer,” as they refer to themselves. This means Whole Foods has third-party audits annually to ensure each Whole Foods Market store is following practices to maintain the organic integrity of products until the moment a customer chooses a product from a display.

With a similar feel to that of Whole Foods, Sprouts Farmers Market, located in 23 states, is a health food store in which organic food encompasses 30,000 square feet of space. From avocados to grapefruit to pineapple, they’ve got it all.

Trader Joe’s is a longstanding carrier of organic produce. First opening in 1958, the nationwide chain often carries organic bananas, tomatoes, salad greens and apples. The website features a handy FAQ that talks through its standards and various organic food terminology. And it’s easy on the wallet, too—CNBC reported the average prices of products at organic grocery stores, and the prices at Trader Joe’s are comparable to those of Aldi.

Erewhon Market, the Los Angeles-based grocery store you may see celebrities popping into all the time, carries quite a bit of organic produce. Beautifully presented, shoppers can expect to find organic produce like mushrooms, strawberries and mandarins, and rarer produce varieties, like turmeric root, Japanese yams and black mission figs.

Based in the Midwest, Woodman’s Market, which locals know to be a particularly large-sized grocery store, provides several organic produce offerings. The food in general at this store tends to be inexpensive because it’s employee-owned. Keep your eye out for organic pears, cauliflower and potatoes.

Yes, Walmart! In recent years, the superstore has begun to carry more and more organic produce within its grocery department. Here, you’ll find frozen organic fruit and produce standards, like organic baby carrots, bell peppers and iceberg lettuce. With a goal to make organic eating affordable, their prices are comparable to Aldi.

Related: Does Organic Milk Have Fewer Impurities?

Target has a lot more than stylish, low-priced clothes and adorable holiday decorations—they also have an impressive organic produce department. For a one-stop shop that includes school supplies, toiletries and organic produce like blueberries, raspberries and clementines, the brand, boasting nearly 1,900 stores nationwide, has been carrying organic groceries for nearly a decade.

With a presence in 38 states, Kroger has long been a grocery-store standby. But these days, their organic offerings are notable, even featuring their own Simple Truth Organic® brand. In fact, in one 2017 report from the Organic Produce Network, Kroger’s organic sales were up nearly 20%.

Stop & Shop has their own line of organic products, Nature's Promise, and a slew of organic produce, including avocados, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, pre-mixed salads, blackberries, bananas, thyme, blueberries, cauliflower, celery, herbs—basically if you can dream it, they've done it.

A sister company to Stop & Shop supermarkets, Giant supermarkets feature Nature's Promise brand organic foods as well as a comparable selection of fresh organic produce.

Safeway is another grocery store chain that has been around forever. Today, it has 1,300 stores nationwide and they’ve kept up with the times by selling a wide selection of organic produce. Often offering coupons, the store can make it easy to shop organic and save money.

Next, Foods Experts Recommend Buying Organic

  • Tonya Harris, environmental toxin expert and author.

  • Samantha Schleiger MS, RDN, CD, CLT, IFNCP, an integrative and functional medicine dietitian.

  • Pew Research Center: “Public Perspectives on Food Risks”

  • USDA: “Organic Market Summary and Trends”

  • British Journal of Nutrition: “Higher antioxidant and lower cadmium concentrations and lower incidence of pesticide residues in organically grown crops: a systematic literature review and meta-analyses”

  • Environmental Working Group (EWG): “EWG’s 2021 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™”

  • Environmental Research: “Organic diet intervention significantly reduces urinary pesticide levels in U.S. children and adults”

  • Organic Produce Network: “Kroger's Q3 natural, organic sales up nearly 20%”