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Best Neighborhood Market With a Social Conscience San Francisco 2001 - Harvest Ranch Market

Health food stores rarely sell food. You can find the occasional bin of yogurt-covered raisins or dry-as-dirt "energy bars," but for actual health food -- you know, the kind you can make into a whole meal -- Harvest Market is the place. Opened 11 years ago by Gilles Desaulniers, Harvest is nothing short of a local phenom. Its 40 employees oversee a fresh salad bar (including couscous, pastas, noodles, and soups), bakery section, deli counter, organic produce display, and one of the most complete (yet eclectic) grocery selections in the city. Though you'll find staples of vegetarian, macrobiotic, and other environmentally friendly diets here, as Harvest's Web site explains, "We maintain a commitment to organic foods and sustainable agriculture, but do not support an eating style based on rigid, abstract "health' standards." In other words, no one will give you grief if you want to buy nothing but ice cream and beer.

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