We are open
to the public: anyone can shop, and everyone
Started in 1971 as Boston Food Co-op, and 1974 as Cambridge Food Co-op, Harvest is your member owned, locally controlled food source.
To better serve our neighborhoods, we are a “hybrid” co-op. While we feature, promote, and educate about organic and natural foods, we also sell “conventional” foods for the whole community. While supermarkets abandoned the urban market for the more affluent suburbs, Harvest is still here.
It's common sense - organic food is healthier for you, for farmers, for our staff, and for the earth and its future inhabitants. Since you only have one body, why not put the best fuel in it?
Organic means no petrochemical pesticides, fungicides, herbicides; no genetic modification or irradiation, or fertilizer made with sewage sludge or synthetic ingredients, all of which are allowed in most conventional food production.
Organic food production is growing at an astounding 20% a year,
as opposed to 1 – 2% for conventional foods.
We are proud to be part of a group of food co-op that led the way with education about organics.
Since the US Department of Agriculture became involved by creating the National Organic Standards in 2002, we have worked with many co-ops and other organizations to keep the organic standards strict.
For more information, see the Organic Consumers Association website.
Many conventional farms use and overuse petrochemical pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, as they have been trained to do by the chemical industry. The Environmental Protection Agency says that agriculture is responsible for 70% of the pollution to the country's rivers and streams caused by chemicals, erosion, and animal waste runoff.
Harvest promotes and carries a wide variety of local foods from local farms and local companies. We host Red Fire Farm, a local Massachusetts organic farm CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) distribution at both stores.
Buying local cuts down on fossil fuel use, encourages economic diversity, and supports small family farmers, as well as cutting down on urban sprawl. According to the USDA, the U.S. has lost over five million farms since 1935. Local products also get to you fresher, saving nutrients lost during shipment. Local products are usually made in smaller batches with less processing. Local businesses also give back more to the local economy.
We carry many fair trade products, from coffee to chocolate to sugar
to bananas to – coming soon – mangos and pineapple. The Cambridge
store was the first customer for Equal Exchange ,
the fair trade coffee (and now more products) company (and worker
As the EE website states “Fair Trade provides the means for small farmers to make enough money to support themselves while using the premiums to improve their standard of living. Fair Trade is not a charity or a handout; it is simply a process of giving a fair exchange”.