A Whole Foods primer

Kelly MacLean’s experience at Whole Foods doesn’t exactly corroborate mine, but she did nail it with this observation:

Next I see the gluten-free section filled with crackers and bread made from various wheat-substitutes such as cardboard and sawdust. I skip this aisle because Im not rich enough to have dietary restrictions. Ever notice that you dont meet poor people with special diet needs? A gluten intolerant house cleaner? A cab driver with Candida? Candida is what I call a rich, white person problem. You know youve really made it in this world when you get Candida. My personal theory is that Candida is something you get from too much hot yoga. All Im saying is if I were a yeast, I would want to live in your yoga pants.

via Surviving Whole Foods | Kelly MacLean.

Exactly. I don’t hear about a lot of peanut allergy problems in North Philadelphia or in the Appalachians. I don’t remember it much from my childhood, either. Occasionally a grammar school classmate vomited the lunch-time hot dog, but it’s more surprising that we didn’t all throw it up.

Whole Foods is fine if you skip what I’ll call the PC aisles where they sell products for hippies. They do have the best meat and fish around. They have a great selection of sauces, and we like their sushi. They make the best tuna salad I’ve ever had. But it’s the last place we’d go for cleaning supplies or health and beauty aids.

In fact, the same rule for standard grocery stores applies to Whole Foods: Stick to the perimeter aisles. Stay away from the packaged foods.

You might pay more, but if you go on the right day, all the free samples more than make up for it.