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wow, Whole Foods has really gone down the crapper.
I don't know about where you guys live, but I've been to at least 10 different Whole Foods stores on the East Coast and I've found plenty of prepared foods made with decent ingredients and no canola, soy, or corn oil. Mashed sweet potatoes, pot roast, buffalo wings, roasted broccoli & cauliflower, roasted yuca, etc.
Maybe the Jacksonville, FL location is trying something new. Even the sweet plantains were drenched in soybean oil. What a bummer!
I've only been shopping WF regularly about 6 months now. I agree their fish is way over-priced. That, I prefer to get frozen at Costco. Their other meats are competitive with the better selections at local groceries. They always have local, of questionable pedigree, and grass-fed at prices comparable to, or cheaper than local farms. Their "butchers" are the closest to the real thing I've found anywhere in my area - sad, I know.
Their pastured eggs are from Texas and 2x what I pay at my farmer's market, almost 3x what I pay at the farmer down the road. They sell the same local, organic, non-homogenized, low temp pasteurized dairy that I buy at my farmer's market, and at the same price. They have an interesting butter selection. Kerrygold is cheaper at Costco, the same at my local grocery.
Their produce is the best looking within 40 miles. Prices are similar to other groceries for organic. Non-organic is a bit higher, but often local and always in good shape.
I don't buy their prepared foods or bakery stuff. And there is a lot of vegan faux food in the middle of the store.
On the whole, WF is a key resource for me. I don't have a lot to choose from where I am, I guess.
CW-125, part calorie counting, part transition to primal
GW- Goals are no longer weight-related
My small local Whole blankety blank store has alot of the same packaged crap as the WF and less meat... but WF runs out of grass-fed at the counter! It's really a pain! They have sales on the fish that help, but we've been getting wild-caught sockeye from Russia... on the other hand, they do have local dairy and produce, some of the same stuff at Whole blank. Trader Joe's sketches me out, though for red wine, some produce and some packaged raisins, etc. it's ok.
It's interesting how these stores seem to vary place to place... my boyfriend was shocked that my hometown (in the rural West) Walmart had a produce section at all! (And it's actually pretty decent). He also said that the Whole Foods here downsized their meat section a this past summer.
Supposedly whole foods supports local growers but I have never seen any of the local grower's produce or meats listed there.
They don't support local growers, even here in Sacramento, where it is easy to get good local meat and produce. I don't shop there unless I am in the area and need something. I can go to the large, fantastic co-op and buy genuinely local, ethical food at great prices from friendly union employees.
Ancestral Health Info - My blog about Primal and the general ancestral health movement. Site just remodeled using HTML5/CSS3 instead of Wordpress.
National chains like Whole Foods (and Costco, and TJ's which is sadly becoming a nat'l chain) often have a base of products and then a whole lot that are different depending on which location. In CA where trends have a tendency to start or bloom quickly, other stores will compete quickly for the 'healthy' buyer. This may also be true in places like Austin, NYC, Charlotte, etc. In cities where drinking on public streets and partying 'til you puke is the major draw, they are very different. And I guess they should be since they don't really exist to please me, but to please the general populace and generate profit.
Where I think WFoods isn't too big too fail, but is positioned for a big fall is when public awareness becomes such that even the most snooty buyer figures out that WFoods is 80% hype and 20% decent. There has already been one mini scandal of some group filming the employees exclaiming that of course WFoods doesn't carry GMOs while the CEO admitted that you can't have a major grocery store free of GMOs. They've positioned themselves above the fray, and when average folks figure out they aren't, they will see a reduction in customers and stock prices. We all accept that Albertson's, Kroger, etc. are stores where we have to scour the shelves to find healthy; when public awareness is such that most people realize that about WFoods, there will be a loud thud as it falls on its collective ass.
I think of WFoods like the woman who wears wearing a padded bra. A lot of guys won't care, but the guys who wanted to see big yabboes when the blouse came off will. WFoods won't go down the tubes, but when its thin veneer of "healthy" comes off, it will suffer from losing those who shopped there for the snooty, or healthy factor.
And still, I like their cheese section.
"Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine
I shop at my local WF store about twice a month; as with any grocery store -- I've learned to ignore the unhealthy items they sell.
I regularly buy their wild caught King salmon -- it's the BEST salmon I've found in any store.
I like their house brand of products (the 365 brand) and discovered that their canned albacore tuna is excellent. Hubby and I were preparing dinner and I opened a can of Chicken of the Sea and a can of the WF tuna and the difference in quality was stunning. So now I pay maybe 50 cents more for a can of WF tuna, but that's fine with me.
I practice yoga (am a yogini) and am also a follower of Grok ... so my journal is Grokini Mary