I don't know what you expected from "convenience" foods - they are just as bad there as anywhere, especially because Whole Foods fully embraces the corn soy vegan YAY mentality.
You can still eat Paleo with help from Whole Foods, they have tons of locally sourced produce and meats, pastured eggs, local dairy products, and other paleo friendly stuff.
I shop at a place called Lazy Acres now, which is sort of like WF, but better. Their meat counter is about 3x the size of my local WF and the prices are much better.
I associate Trader Joe's with processed foods, I don't really get the appeal of that stuff. I have tried to shop there a couple times since starting my health journey and honestly it seems to be nothing but packaged crap and the produce and meats sections are about the size of a postage stamp. :P And none of it is particularly well raised to justify the price.
Rather shop at Costco than TJ's (and now I do! :P)
I tried Whole Foods a few times when I first started on primal. I knew it would be pricey, but it was a good place initially to find some of the stuff you don't always find at conventional markets- coconut oil/cream, nut butters, etc. Think I paid upward of $8 for a spaghetti squash (first time shopping for a squash of any kind). Never bought any meats from there, I couldn't get past the prices.
Thankfully I soon discovered Sprouts. Large selection of produce, grass-fed meats that I don't need a second mortgage to purchase, full-fat greek yogurt, and double-discount Wednesdays! Even though I have both a Trader Joes and Whole Foods within a mile of my place, I still make the 7 mile trek to Sprouts every week.
I've found some produce items, such as beets, fennel, leeks and fresh herbs, to be of better quality, and often a cheaper price, at Whole Foods compared to my local grocery store. They also carry items that my grovery doesn't like Bragg's ACV and tamarii. And their cheese section rocks! So, I probably go to WFs twice a month or so, but I'm by no means buying the bulk of my food there. Our local farmer's market is starting back up this weekend, and I anticipate it meeting most of my food needs (meat, eggs and produce) for the next several months.
Yep, everything in the Whole Paycheck deli is soaked in canola oil. Yuk.
I mostly shop at Sprouts, which I think is owned by the same company but targets a less pricey demographic.
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.
So long as you get fresh produce elsewhere and avoid the expensive packaged foods, you can actually get good quality food for decent prices at WF.
Also, if you're ever in the mood for a cheat, their desserts are awesome. Got a praline pumpkin cheesecake pretty recently -- pumpkin cheesecake in a pie shell with caramel sauce on top. Easily in my top 5 desserts.
If you're looking to buy takeout food.
[QUOTE=tarek;1147464]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. [/QUOTE]
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.
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.
[QUOTE] Supposedly whole foods supports local growers but I have never seen any of the local grower's produce or meats listed there.[/QUOTE]
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.