Pure & Simple: Underground world of natural foods unearthed

Gennifer Geer, Managing Editor

In a world where processed food runs rampant and people struggle to pronounce ingredients, where totalitarian allergies steal any ray of hope for eating like a normal person, one journalist rises from the dust of pesticides and reaches out one pure, organic hand to the plastic-wrapped pleas for help.

“We want good food!” they cry. “But we want it good for you, too!”

This journalist hears you, pitied people. She knows a better way. She knows the ins-and-outs of local, natural food. She bows to her moral obligation to share those with you, to save your health and your taste buds.

Sprouts Farmers Market

The first time I entered this store, I cried. This beautiful alternative to Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s stocks just as many options with better prices. Along with organic produce, Sprouts has natural medicine, a bakery and other groceries. They sport a well-sized gluten-free aisle and have vegetarian options galore — even gelatin-free Jell-O imitations. If you ever have a question, the store associates are happy to assist, making useful suggestions or simply helping you find something.

Metcalf and 135th by Von Maur.

Price Range: Slightly more than average grocery stores.

Mama Resch’s

Although this bakery brands itself as “gluten-free,” all of Mama Resch’s products are also made with no dairy, soy, nuts or other common allergens. Their baked goods range from bread and crackers to cookies and cupcakes. They make custom orders, and everything can be made vegan. However, in comparison to a regular bakery, pastries bought individually seemed more expensive without any superior taste. That being said, their treats were delightful to eat — great news for any special occasions for those with allergies.

127th and Metcalf by Natalie M.

Price Range: $3.99 to $10.50.

Sheridan’s Unforked

Based on the slogan “honest clean food,” Unforked has a diverse menu including tacos, quesadillas and burgers. Their salads are more than tossed iceberg lettuce and croutons — they instead feature goodies like kale and red miso dressing. Made-from-scratch smoothies and fresh frozen custard are perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth, and their fries are heaven on earth.

119th and Metcalf across from Hobby Lobby.

Price Range: $3.80 to $8.70.

Glacé Artisan Ice Cream

Come for the locally-made, natural ice cream — stay for the array of flavors. Though “goat cheese and wildflower honey” may sound strange, it’s one of Glacé’s best-sellers. Anything you may have a taste for comes in a friendly frozen form. Unlike other popular ice creameries, Glacé also has creative dairy-free sorbets, including coconut and chocolate.

119th and Roe near the Apple Store.

Price Range: $3.65 to $6.99.