August 10, 2007

I visited Whole Foods with Riley this afternoon where immediately upon entering the store he snaked out a lightning-fast tentacle from the cart and grabbed the entire contents of a toothpick container on a produce sample table, once I wrestled every single pointy, stabby pick out of his surprisingly impenetrable paw, he lunged the other direction and managed to grip onto a Stability Orange from a large pyramid-like display of fruit, nearly causing a massive tropical catastrophe; I quickly rolled us out of the vegetation and into the dry goods where I was forced to choose organic yogurt-and-barley-infused ultra-expensive dog and catfood because Whole Foods doesn’t carry Purina, they carry Newman’s Own, the contents of which probably include ground-up hippies and pretzels and hundred dollar bills; the next aisle I visited contained many boxes of cereal but not one single box of Cinnamon Life, everything was gluten-free and featured whole grains and millet and powdered tofu sweetened with carob; I moved on to the dairy section and a woman buying kefir sniffed at my Go-gurt choice; when I finally battled my way through the health-conscious, aisle-hogging, Porsche-Cayenne-driving crowd to pay, my total came to $116.04, and I only had two motherfucking bags.

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Kristi
Kristi
15 years ago

I have SO been exactly there – but with 2 toddlers and double the tentacle action. Also, unfortunately double the total – and funny enough, NOT 4 bags! I have a love-hate relationship with Whole Foods – such a feast for the eyes, such a giant rip off! Halcion, anyone?!

Keaton
Keaton
15 years ago

I live near the a mall where there is not only a Whole Foods, but a Safeway as well. Normally, competition drives down prices, but not so in this bizarre land of extreme wealth! I bought TWO tomatoes at Safeway a few weeks ago and they totaled, I shit you not, $4.67. TWO. Whole Foods, in response, raised the price of its tomatoes and they are now even more expensive. Hell, they sell ground-up fish for $8.99/lb. I will stick with my poor little King Soopers, thank you.

heather
heather
15 years ago

a friend of mind has taken to calling it “whole paycheck”. one time i bought the tiniest piece of salmon ever there, and it was SEVENTEEN DOLLARS. i shit you not.

samantha jo campen
15 years ago

I second the Whole Paycheck. Cuz dude, that’s what it IS!

Emily
15 years ago

Mmmm … Go-gurt.

Sorry. I do not miss grocery shopping. However, are you aware of netgrocer.com? They are cheap, and ship everywhere. Then instead of Riley knocking over display shelves, you’ll have the time to take him over to your crazy neighbor’s yard so he can uproot patches of it. Fun for all!

Valria
15 years ago

I have a friend who works at WholePaycheck and he wont even shop there.
Stick with Trader Joes if you have one on the East Side. However the isles are narrow enough that Riley can probably knock things off the shelves on both sides of the cart without much of a reach…..oh and they won’t have Cinnamon Life either. However, the dog food is pretty natural and affordable, my dog gives it two paws up.

Lesley
Lesley
15 years ago

Safeway is the biggest rip off ever and only a fraction of what they sell can actually be called food. It pisses me off that the suburbs have loads of grocery competition but in the inner city we’re stuck with Le Grande Monopoly – Safeway. I mainly shop at Wild Oats (it’s called Capers up here) for organic produce (it’s worth it – at least they buy from local farmers and it’s fresh and tasty stuff…as opposed to Safeway’s Old Rotting GMO’d Crap from California aisle. Yuck. Besides Capers I shop at farmers markets-lots of good deals to be had there. It’s probably worth it to pay a babysitter and shop around. And buy the rest (toilet paper, paper towels, detergent) in bulk from places like Costco.

Sally
Sally
15 years ago

I couldn’t agree more – WF are great places to browse and buy the occasional treat but certainly not everything. The one that has just opened here in the UK was mobbed the first week and then sales plummeted the second when people realised quite how little you get for your money (btw the prices are way higher here than in the US!).

Gentry
15 years ago

I once found wiggling maggots in my granola puchased at Whole Foods. That’s how I learned to love pesticides and quit buying organic.

Gertie
15 years ago

When I was back there this past Spring, I went to the Whole Foods on NE 8th in search of a good curry. I expected it to be something like a Larry’s but I was shocked at the prices; you’d think with the 2/1 currency rate buying food in the US would be cheaper than the UK. At first I was drawn in by the wood shelves, quaint signage, and overpriced $3 peppers but then I caught sight of the gourmet dog food aisle and said “hell no”. I spoil Miss Molly to no end, but I refuse– REFUSE — to buy high dollar specialty food for a being that considers cat turds from the litter box a crunchy treat.

Eric's Mommy
Eric's Mommy
15 years ago

Ah shopping with children so much fun!

I myself have never been to Whole Foods for that exact reason $$$, I don’t think I could afford to feed my family!

Kind of sucks that eating “healthy” costs a fortune that’s why Eric lives on McDonald’s double hamburgers!

Swistle
15 years ago

I don’t know why Whole Foods even puts products on the shelves. They should just stand outside and charge $60/bag for You’ll Take It And You’ll Like It.

Keliz
Keliz
15 years ago

I also learned to love pestisides as well when my friend bit into a nice worm in her over-priced organic broccoli!

Andrea
15 years ago

I have such a love/hate relationship with Whole Foods. I’ve actually started shopping at PCC more often. The prices are just as astronomical but the shopping experience is much more pleasing. Not to mention their prepared foods and bakery are much tastier than Whole Foods.

jonniker
15 years ago

I hate Whole Foods for that reason. And you know what else gets me about them? That whole enticing prepared food case? The one that always leaves me drooling? The food in it sucks. It looks pretty, but it’s so expensive, and not tasty, and frustratingly NOT DELICIOUS AT ALL.

Amanda
15 years ago

In the words of Eric Cartman, “GOD DAMN HIPPIES!”

Christina
15 years ago

Do you have a local co-op in or near your neighborhood? They are pricey to but they do have deal and if you join you will get discounts… we usually do the co-op for certain organic products that Kroger does not carry and Kroger for the brand name stuff (and some of the organic stuff since it carries a ton more then it used to…)

We live in a small town so no Whole Foods but when I lived/visited San Jose my mom insisted on shopping on there and while it is pretty cool to go to Whole Foods once in a while it is a total rip off. WF and Wild Oats are cut from the same cloth. They are meant to make you feel a certain way when you walk in… they do both have yummy deli selections and desserts though!

Also, if you can find a local butcher shop, they will offer beautiful cuts of fish, meats and chicken for less the WF. I have heard the butcher shop is on the rise again. Like the one that what’s his name from the Brady Bunch ran! We have fun and it is so cool to go into and see all these amazing cuts of meat – I do not eat red meat but seeing this stuff makes you want to!

I saw screw WF and do your shopping a several places that offer all the stuff WF does and go more for less.

Alyson
15 years ago

They don’t call it “Whole Paycheck” for nuthin’!

Honestly, if I want to avail myself of the ultra-trendy health foods, I go to PCC. Food is a little bit cheaper – they have a great bulk food section – AND their deli soups are out of this world!

I’m a Top Foods gal! I actually took time off from work to go to the grand opening of the Top Foods in Bellevue. I had missed by Everett Top Foods so much, I just about fainted when I found out about the one opening in Bellevue.

The prices at Whole Foods almost makes you miss Larry’s Market, doesn’t it?

k8
k8
15 years ago

Whole Foods in Boston is called “Bread and Circus”. My mother and I used to shop there for certain items. Once my mother asked a clerk if that had any white sugar and he looked at her in horror….without missing a beat, and so like my mother, she said “then I guess cigarettes are out of the question”.
We were members of a food coop growing up, pretty straight forward stuff and mostly in bulk and not very $$$. But now forget it, the funny thing is you can make most of the products for far less than they sell them for.
And out here in the pacific we are hostage to all food prices (I try to eat mostly local produce and meat), but there are a few items that I treat myself to. 5oz of a good cheddar tend to run about $9……..I kid you not. Since moving here I have purchased a yogurt maker, a soymilk maker, I can my own preserves,I make the dog buscuits, I make my own muesli, I dry my own fruit, I am learning how to make crackers, and the next project is cheese.
And someday when I have $1000 bucks to spare I am going to buy a peanut butter maker and use it for Almond Butter, one 6oz container of Almond Butter here costs …………. $14.00!!!!

Samantha
15 years ago

I would not even step foot in a Whole Foods, if we had one, which we don’t. Trader Joe’s is the only place I will shop now.

Gayle
Gayle
15 years ago

No Whole Foods here in Michigan and from the sound of it, I’m not missing much! Just curious tho, what the cost of a gallon of milk is out there on the west coast? Paid $4.44 for a gallon at a super Walmart! That’s more than what ya pay for a gallon of gas! WTF???

hello insomnia
15 years ago

I’ve been snubbed at Whole Foods, too. This woman wanted to get some stupid carob muffin and my huge pesticide-laden body was in her way.

kristin
kristin
15 years ago

I fell into the Whole Foods Trap two weekends ago….I spent $250….and left with enough food to feed the two of us for about 2 days. The sick thing is…I bought almost all the same stuff I normally get at Trader Joes, at an 1/8 of the cost of WF excursion.

God damn Porsche Cayenne driving hippie freaks.

Kim
Kim
15 years ago

Sorry, but I feel compelled to put in a few good words for Whole Foods . . . I love the store, their prepared foods, & especially their baked goods. Yeah, it’s pricey but partly because they don’t sell, say, el-cheapo brands like Chock-Ful-O-Nuts coffee.

And, actually, I have discovered that some WF items are priced lower than at the regular grocery store! For example, in my WF, a half gallon of 365-brand OJ is $1.99. (Regular grocery stores around her don’t even put it on sale for $2.50 anymore, it seems). Also, I eat those GoLEAN cereals, and they are almost always cheaper at WF than they are, even, at Target. Finally, a bag of pre-washed baby spinach (Fresh-Express brand) is a Whole Foods $1.99 to the Normal grocery’s $2.49. Ok, so the 365-brand can of tuna is 99 cents to the on-sale Bumblebee can at 59 cents, but I can tell you that the 365 tuna is MUCH more than 40 cents’ worth of better. Totally. Worth It.

But mostly, (at least where I live) the cashiers at Whole Foods are pleasant, efficient, and competant vs. the Normal Store’s surly, stupid, and slow. Good service & fast service is worth higher prices!

Cara
15 years ago

I’m in Austin, Texas, home of Whole Foods. We all call it Whole Paycheck here, too! We have the best grocery stores here called HEB (which I think might only be in south/southeast/central Texas. We also have stores called Central Market which are actually hippied-out HEB’s. They’re similar to Whole Foods but much more reasonable. I go there when I’m looking for fancy cheese, bread, wine or organic produce. Fortunately, the HEB closest to us is a hybrid of a regular HEB & a Central Market so they’ve got all the organic stuff and lots of bulk and health-food type stuff plus your Purina dogfood, white sugar, and any brand of yogurt you want :)

And our milk is running about $4.25/gal for the cheapest brand 1% and $4.40/gal for the cheapest brand whole milk. We only paid $2.67 for gas today!

Paula
Paula
15 years ago

Another reason why Peapod RULZ!!!!

Katie
15 years ago

Whole Foods can kiss my poor ass. Only RICH people can be healthy? What is that bullshit?

Michelle
Michelle
15 years ago

Am I the only one who likes Whole Foods? What’s wrong with paying a little more for quality?? I rather pay for food that’s actually edible than save money by buying what is essentialy chemically infused trash. Perhaps this is why our country has an obesity epidemic. Seriously, we buy our produce at the weekly farmer’s market–which might be a treat to visit with Riley.

Alex Lawrence-Richards
15 years ago

I’ve been a lurker for a couple years here, but this post has caused me to lift out from the word work.

I must say, I love Wholefoods. My girlfriend lives near Union Square in NYC and whenever I’m up there on a visit we make a habit of stopping in there (or the one in SoHo since all the NYU kids apparently live in the WF at Union Square).

I guess I might be in the minority here, but I prefer Wholefoods way over Trader Joe’s. And I’m sure it’s hit or miss sometimes and depends on the location, but the prepared food case has never let me down before.

Different strokes for different folks, I suppose.

jonniker
15 years ago

K8: They dumped Bread & Circus in Boston a few years ago. They used to be separate stores, then Whole Foods bought them, and the whole kit and kaboodle went over to Whole Foods.

I failed to mention that I *infinitely* prefer Trader Joe’s for my organic needs. Oh yes, Trader Joe’s, how I love and pine for you!

jonniker
15 years ago

And oh my God, Michelle, you CAN buy good food at regular grocery stores, and it is shockingly edible AND they have an organic section. Shopping non-organic and non-Whole Foods doesn’t mean you’re eating all “trash,” and no no, your choice in grocery stores – which are chock-full of healthy food – are not the obesity problem.

I *am* a bit of a health nut, which is a surprising fact even to me, but come on, I can’t spend a bofrillion dollars at Whole Foods every week, I just can’t. And while in an ideal world, I’d love to (because honestly, if not for the price, it’s nice to be there, except for that DELI CASE HOW I HATE YOU DELI CASE), I can’t afford it for the very reason Sundry outlined: food for two of us, for one week, is about a $300 there. Which is ridiculous, I’m sorry, it is. That’s so much more than “a little more for quality.”

Give me a break. That’s more than three times as much as it cost at a regular grocery store.

Alex Lawrence-Richards
15 years ago

Come on. No one’s forcing ANYONE to shop there. No need to take pot shots at someone just because they might *prefer* shopping there.

You can get to work driving a KIA or driving a BMW; I prefer to drive my BMW and I prefer shopping at Wholefoods.

Could I get everything I eat at Whole Foods at some other place (like Trader Joe’s or even like a Super Wal-Mart)? Heck yea, and when I was in college and living poor I did. Is their food pricey? Yea. Was the BMW pricey? Yea. I mean you go on and on, back and forth. Fact is, if you don’t like them that much, don’t give them your business.

In the same vein as this topic, the local grocery store chain around here (Hy-Vee) opened up an “organic foods” section and I can’t help but think that it seems to me similar to McDonalds selling “gourmet roast coffee.” Meaning, I wouldn’t go to McDonalds for a good cup of coffee, and I wouldn’t go to my local grocery store for good, organic food.

ShannonJ
ShannonJ
15 years ago

Wow – is it me, or is this topic more inflamed than the gun-control post from a few months ago? To use a phrase I kind of hate, who’d a thunk it? :)

We don’t have a Whole Foods here yet. It’s coming soon, right near my house, so I definitely can’t wait to check the place out. But, if the organic prices at our local grocery store are any indication, I won’t be able to shop there very often. At least until I don’t have two kids in daycare.

Alyson
15 years ago

Where ever I shop, 85% of my cart is always fresh produce. So where I can get the best produce at the best price is my driving factor. Top Foods does a great job at that. Whole Foods has wonderful looking produce, but wow! The Prices! I can get just as nice stuff from Top Foods or Costco. Good produce is not hard to get at regular grocery stores in the Northwest. Other parts of the country, I have no idea. I have a son who won’t eat any kind of fish more than 250 miles from an ocean. He doesn’t trust it!

Sarah
Sarah
15 years ago

Gayle – we do have Whole Foods here in Michigan – there’s one in Ann Arbor (and I hear they’re going to open another one, not sure why so close by). It’s about a mile from Trader Joe’s – I tend to go to Trader Joe’s because of prices, products, and it doesn’t have an insane parking lot like Whole Foods!

Josh
15 years ago

Damn, and I thought the Whole Foods in the south east were hippie hell. I’m glad I don’t live in Seattle. Good luck with all that.

Erica
Erica
15 years ago

Several random comments –

FYI, a few commenters who mentioned Larry’s: The Larry’s Market in Redmond is still there! It is the only one still open.

Whole Foods bought Wild Oats last year, so they are now really the same company, not just separately owned clones.

It is tempting to write off organics/bulk because you found bugs in them, but I have found gross things in my conventionally grown/packaged food too. But I dumpster-dive some of my food, so I imagine I am less squeamish than average about that sort of thing.

It’s great blackberry-picking season! Offset the high cost of food by eating a shitload of blackberries and blackberry-containing dishes. I am.

lisa
15 years ago

I love how dog is just soaking it all in. If only we could read their minds…..
(or maybe not since mine is probably thinking “I will eat that child as soon as your back is turned lady!”)

Carrie
15 years ago

I saw Paul Newman on Jay Leno one night eating his own dog food to show how “wonderful” it is. I think he may have gone round the bend. If I wanted to feed my dog “organic” food, wouldn’t I just feed her table scraps?

Oh, and there are lots of Whole Foods in Michigan. There are three of them within an easy drive from my home in Waterford. (But we’re not affluent enough to have one in our town.) The thing I love best about Whole Foods is the healthy, healthy, healthy, then the largest selection of imported beers and wine I’ve ever seen. Heh.

Dawn
Dawn
15 years ago

Sundry, this post and the one that follows is one of the many, many reasons that I adore you.