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Thread: wow, Whole Foods has really gone down the crapper. page

  1. #1
    BestBetter's Avatar
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    wow, Whole Foods has really gone down the crapper.

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    I rarely shop at Whole Foods because I no longer live near one and it's too expensive.

    However, when I travel, sometimes I will stop into a WF to pick up some supplies because I know I can find healthy options there, which are usually in short supply when traveling.

    I recently stopped into a WF and thought I'd get some food from the hot buffet/prepared food area, and was shocked when I read the ingredient listing. I'm not talking about the weird vegan dishes, but the meat-based dishes. For example, they had pulled pork with an ingredient list just as long as any fast food menu, and included all sorts of 'healthy items' such as hydrolyzed wheat gluten (in pulled pork!!!), soybean oil, high-fructose corn syrup, and lots of other nasties.

    Deciding to nix the hot food, I thought I'd get some organic grass-fed roast beef from the deli area. Not only was their roast beef selection not organic or grass-fed, but the ingredient list contained CANOLA OIL. And of course, being Whole Foods, the price tage was three times more than any supermarket roast beef.

    I don't buy baked goods, but once I started looking at the ingredient listings for their cookies and desserts, I realized I could have been reading an ingredient listing on the side of an Entenmann's package.

    There were plenty of people in the store, happy to fork over a small fortune for the same quality they could have found in their local gas station convenience store. I don't get it.

  2. #2
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    I don't get it either. Aside from specialty items, most things there are just like anything in a regular supermarket except with different labels. Lots of keywords ("natural!") make it sound healthy and make people feel like they're spending their money wisely. My parents fall into this trap constantly. My mom, even with a vegan daughter, and now me with multiple food intolerances, will just go by the front of the packages and does not read ingredients lists.

    It's just packaging. Another way to make money. I try to buy the local brands that WF offers as much as possible.
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    The first time I ever set foot in one, I thought I was going to see a lot of selection of the sorts of whole natural ingredients I buy. But instead, I saw a store that was mostly geared toward selling pricey takeout food at a premium prices. The real food was in a ghetto in the middle with the "healthy" junk food people who have lots of money but don't want to give up SAD foods like to buy.

    The nearest one is half an hour away. I haven't been there in a year.

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    JoanieL's Avatar
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    There are things to like about WFoods, but in general, I agree with BestBetter. I wonder though if having a primal/paleo mindset isn't what makes WFoods seem so unhealthy.

    I used to go twice a month for meat, organic veggies, frozen organic berries, squid, curry powder, and my treat of some decadent cheese. I've found meat online that is more varietal for about the same price. That brings my WFoods treks down quite a bit. I'd have to look at my check book, but I think it's been over two months since I went last. I kinda miss the cheese.
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    I'm going to guess it's the primal mindset. Having gone into a WF once (in Annapolis), I was at the time not really aware of what a "WholeFoods" was really supposed to be about and didn't have time to really explore. The only thing I remember was a large display of very fragrant cheeses. I'd been, as of late, interested in having one down here (a rapidly growing zone), but now that I think about it, it wouldn't be an improvement over the Good Earth store we already have.

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  6. #6
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    I have to agree with the sentiments on this thread. I lived in the northeast for 20 years and didn't have a WF near me. I now live in the south and have been less than impressed on most visits there. I would much rather take more frequent trips to my Trader Joe's. I think they have a much better selection of paleo foods and more competitive prices.
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    Catherine's Avatar
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    I like my local WF. It's smaller than a lot of them and I feel like I know the people who work there; I almost always see the same faces. And they seem happy and actually concerned about the products that the store sells. That's really what makes the biggest difference for me. The Trader Joe's around the corner is depressing. I don't know if it's just their somewhat inaccessible location, but it always seems empty and everything seems packaged. I often buy fresh flowers and i've noticed that TJ;s die right away, the WF ones last longer.

    the only thing TJ's has that i like is a good cheap red wine but even that is not such a draw b/c WF has now started putting out more cheap good stuff. Still can't beat Spec's but i'm not going to drive all over the place going to different stores just for food and drink.

    anyway -- i'm well aware that WF sells a bunch of processed-ish packaged stuff but i don't buy that stuff, i buy the whole foods, which in my local store, are prominently featured.

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    Our whole foods has a lot of gourmet cheese and gourmet other things that go with cheese. They also have A2 milk, not that I've ever had it, but it's the only place I have ever seen it. Their fish costs too much, their meat is expensive--more than grass-fed prices for not grass-fed so why not just go to the ethnic grocery where you can pay reasonable prices for not grass-fed and actually get some organ meats and cuts besides NY strip and rib-eye? Supposedly whole foods supports local growers but I have never seen any of the local grower's produce or meats listed there.

    Trader Joe's sorta bugs me with the way everything seems to be flown in from the far reaches of the planet. A lot of overpackaging there, too.
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    Rojo's Avatar
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    They talk of banks being Too Big To Fail. Whole Foods, and any chain, is Too Big to Shop At. Our entire food infrastructure -- from farm to market -- needs a large reboot.

  10. #10
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    My opinion might be skewed 'cause I live in NYC and things are different here...

    Whole Foods here isn't considerably more expensive than other supermarkets (especially neighborhood deli/bodega type places), and they carry grass-fed meat from local farms - the only other place I can get that in the city is a Farmer's Market, and then it's frozen, which I dislike.
    WF has one of the lowest incidences of "this shouldn't be on the shelf"-itis of any grocery store I've encountered in this city.... i.e. I don't get rotten fruit/veg, expired salami, etc.
    Also, things like cut fruit (sometimes I'm too lazy to cut up a pineapple, whaddaya want from me?) are always properly ripe, and do not contain the parts they're not supposed to (I get chunks cut too close to the core ALL THE TIME from other stores).

    I just ignore products I don't need, rolling my eyes at some of them... the stacked pyramid display of large bottles of canola oil "heart healthy!" lol... about the only thing I eat from their prepared foods section is the Indian food - at least they list ingredients so I know what's in it - most of the stuff I can make better tasting, cheaper, and better FOR me at home, but I'd totally grab some veggies and fish/chicken (again, thankfully, I can read all the ingredients) if I needed a BAS in a pinch.

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