Skip to main content

A Mission of Sustainability - Local Food Benefits People and Planet

Jul 01, 2020 08:18PM ● By Gisele M. Siebold
Our community and ecosystem benefit from the efforts of our local farmers and food workers. Their nutrient-dense food allows us to eat smaller portions, bestowing upon us avenues for mindful eating. Growing organic, non-genetically modified (non-GMO), farm-fresh produce is the mission of Spiral Path Farm. Sourcing food and products that are as natural as possible is the main focus of Palmyra Food Emporium, Sonnewald Natural Foods and The Healthy Grocer.

“Our first priority is seeking out organic and local, which will naturally be free of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides; we also source products that are non-GMO and free from antibiotics, growth hormones and artificial ingredients,” says Susan Kiskis, general manager of The Healthy Grocer, in Camp Hill. “We do not sell conventional products in the store.”

“Conventional farming practices disrupt the surrounding land and ecosystems,” explains Leigh Chrismer, buyer for The Healthy Grocer. “Overuse of chemical sprays on fields and increased manufacturing waste emissions in production facilities evaporate into the air; enter the water cycle, infiltrate the once pristine aquifers and saturate soils and water, which nourish our fruits, vegetables and wildlife. Ultimately, these compounds find their way back into our bodies, polluting the cycle from beginning to end.”


Spiral Path Farm, in Loysville, has been home to the Brownback family since 1978. They farm all of the 300 acres organically and have been USDA-certified organic since 1994. They offer Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share memberships and are a partner farm with Wegmans Food Market.


“We purchase all of our seeds from certified organic, non-GMO suppliers like Johnny’s Selected Seeds and Seedway,” explains Lucas Brownback, CSA manager and second-generation farmer. “We then seed and start all of our crops here on the farm in our transplant greenhouses. Absolutely no pesticides, herbicides or any other GMO ingredients are used on our farm.


“Our mission is to provide our customers with the best-tasting and most nutrient-dense produce,” says Brownback. “We have been working closely with universities, like Cornell, in Ithaca, New York, and Rodale Institute, in Kutztown, Pennsylvania, to scientifically prove that organic foods do, in fact, hold more nutritious value than a conventionally grown crop. You are what your veggies eat.” 

Palmyra Food Emporium, Sonnewald Natural Foods and The Healthy Grocer all strive to support local farmers, their families, the surrounding communities and the land where food is grown. They source as much as possible from local, organic and all-natural farmers and vendors. 


Local products that The Healthy Grocer carries include cheese, milk, eggs, beef, granola bars, hot sauce, ghee and desserts. They also work with small, local artisans who produce hand-crafted products.


Palmyra Food Emporium features organic, locally-produced fruit and vegetables, local grass-fed, beef and pork, organic pasture-raised poultry and dairy and wild-caught seafood. Selections also include baked goods, coffee, spices, sweeteners, snack mixes, specialty and gluten-free items, an herb garden and many other healthy, consciously-grown everyday staples.

“Our mission is to provide knowledgeable help and be a food source for people who understand that their wellness is directly linked to the quality of what they eat,” enthuses owner Tom Maurer. “When you shop at the Emporium, you enjoy locally-grown, farm-fresh food and specialty products while supporting your community.”

Sonnewald Natural Foods is a unique family business featuring one of York County’s finest organic produce selections, along with a climate-controlled, self-serve bulk foods room with more than 300 mostly-organic items. Buy a pinch or a pound of grains, beans, seeds, nuts, dried fruits, pastas, granolas, snacks, salts, sweeteners, teas, herbs and spices.

“Our mill room will custom grind most whole grains into flour while you shop,” says owner Willa Lefever. “Your well-being is important to us. Let our decades of experience help you enjoy ultimate health.”

“We are dedicated to bringing our community sustainably produced and enlightened products,” says Chrismer. “Recognizing that only by giving respect to the earth and preserving its resources from which we depend on so greatly, are we able to complete the cycle harmoniously, continuing to reap the bounties for generations to come. Our community directly supports the continued wellbeing of the planet. Together we are able to make our voices heard, holding companies and brands accountable for responsible, sustainable practices.”


Palmyra Real Food Emporium is located at 707 E. Broad St., in Palmyra. For more information, call 717-383-0028 or visit


Sonnewald Natural Foods is located at 4796 Lehman Rd., in Spring Grove. For more information, call 717-225-3825 or visit


Spiral Path Farm is located at 538 Spiral Path Lane, in Loysville. For more information, call 717-789-4433 or visit


The Healthy Grocer is located at 3800 Trindle Rd., in Camp Hill. For more information, call 717-737-5123 or visit