Local Grocery Store

Neighborhood Project: Learning about your neighborhood

Visit one of the large grocery stores (big chain stores such as C Town, Food Bazaar or Key Food Supermarkets, but exclude ethnic stores, such as H-Mart and Hong Kong Supermarket, organic nautical-themed grocery stores, such as Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, and wholesale stores, such as BJ’s Wholesale Club and COSTCO in your neighborhood and see where your food comes from. Bring your notebook or phone, when you visit the store. During your visit, observe following things and take some photos of fresh produce and items you observed.

Remember that writing is a learning process. If you earn less than 80 points out of 100, you will have a chance to revise your paper; and will be graded with a 10 points deduction.

Remember that writing is a learning process. If you earn less than 80 points out of 100, you will have a chance to revise your paper; and will be graded up to 80 points.

Fieldtrip & quick report

  • Visit your local grocery store
  • Find Fresh produce, dairy products and bread. Select at least 15 items of fresh produce (vegetables and fruits), 3 dairy products, and 2 bread; and take 5 photos for the record.
  • See labels.
  • Find where these products were produced. Are they grown in New York State or somewhere else? You can probably categorize A, B, C were locally produced (in NYS, NJ, or PA), while D, E, and F were produced domestically, but in long-distance (such as CA). But, G, H, I and J were imported from X. In another word, are they locally grown or produced? Note that you should research what “locally grown food” means and discuss why you believe that your grocery store tends to offer more locally grown food or long-distance food.
  • Make categories with 20 items.
    • Locally grown produce: tomato, melon, milk, and wheat bread.
    • Long-distance (domestic): eggplant, cabbage, and yogurt
    • Long-distance (imported): avocado, and papaya
      • Explain where they’re specifically from in your fieldnote. I will provide one later in class.
      • Explain why you think they are “locally grown, long-distance (domestic), or long-distance (imported)
  • Read & find at least 5 newspaper articles about “local food, locavore, and long-distance food etc.” Do not find any articles about produce itself. Just make a list of five articles.

Writing assignment (by 03/31): 10%

    • Write a 2 page-long paper after finishing your field trip to your local grocery store.
    • Due: March 31
    • Please incorporate all the questions above in your assignment.
    • I suggest you to avoid using your phone when you actually write a paper, because it causes lots of grammatical mistakes that you can easily avoid. Please avoid it, unless a phone is the only device available.


  • Typed, 12 point font, Times New Roman, 1-inch margins.

How will this assignment be graded?

  • This essay consists of 10% of your total grade; and will be graded on the following elements.
  • Content: questions in the prompt are properly addressed – total 80 pts (see below)
    • Research results and sociological analysis about local foods are properly presented (40 pts).
    • 20 items and place of produce are properly explained in words (20 pts). But please do not explain too much detail.
    • Information is integrated from 5 newspaper articles (20 pts).
  • Appendix
    • If 5 photos are included (3 pts).
    • If fieldnotes are included (4 pts) : If I asked you to fix it, please attach updated fieldnote. 
  • Presentation
    • If 2 page criteria is adhered (8 pts).
    • If font, spacing, and APA format are correct (2 pts).
    • Appropriate grammar and punctuation for the project and demonstrate extensive proofreading (3 pts).

 Appendix. Photos and fieldnotes

  • Include 5 photos that you took during your own fieldwork.
  • Include your filed notes.


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