The distance North Baltimoreans must travel to get natural food just got a little shorter: Baltimore Food Co-op opened quietly last Thursday at 2800 Sisson in Remington.

Anyone who has read The Omnivore’s Dilemma knows the perils of natural food shopping at a supermarket: words such as “natural,” “free range,” and even “organic” accompanied by quaint, pastoral logos are no guarantee that the food is grown ethically or sustainably, or that the workers are well paid, or that it’s even particularly healthy. The food is grown and processed out of sight, so even when shopping at Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s you can’t be certain what you’re getting.

BFC’s local producers are listed on its website (some with contact information), and though it still may not be as good as looking the farmer in the eye, you could certainly call her up and ask her about her practices.

But the co-op may not solve the “dilemma” all by itself. Despite its mission to provide “reasonably priced food to members and the general public,” the premium one has to pay for the sustainable experience at the BFC makes the co-op’s public not quite so general. Promising only a two percent discount, even membership can’t make it affordable.