Thursday, June 10, 2010

No thanks Whole Foods.

There are eleven million reasons why this article over at Jezebel irritates me but let me focus on one.

The assumption that one MUST want to shop at fucking Whole foods in order to be THIN!HEALTHY is bullshit.

Actually let me say this first.

Let's talk about organic and "healthy" food.

The problem with organic food is that it is costly to produce and therefor costs the consumer more. Let's use bananas as an example because Uniballer and I fucking love bananas. There are almost always bananas in our house.

Now, why would we as people with a pretty small food budget allocate 4.99 for five bananas when we could get a pound of bananas for the same price?

Further more, why would we get the bananas that we'd have to eat up right away rather than the ones that last a bit longer?

If you're going to preach about poor folks taking responsibility there you go.

I would say of the four grocery stores we use with regularity, on average the non organic fruits and vegetables are not only far cheaper but tend to last a bit longer and thus, we are being responsible poor folks by making a fiscal decision to get the non organic bananas.

If you are going to ride the poor folks must make better decisions train, educate yourself as to what that actually might entail for us poor folks.

Now as for Whole Foods.

I only went into a Whole foods for the first time about a year ago. Being that I am a foody type person who loves finding new awesome noms I was pretty excited but I left feeling unimpressed.

To this point I've been in several and my experiences have not been positive.

There are a lot of fancy grocery stores in Seattle and most of them I really enjoy despite the prices.

Whole Foods in particular is not a store I like shopping at. I have not liked the staff, I have not liked the other shoppers in fact, every trip I've made there would get a low score if I was secret shopping.

I don't like being ogled while I grocery shop. I don't like standing around trying to get the attention of an employee and being overlooked in favor of other shoppers. I don't like pretentious bullshit.

At the other end of my experiences at fancy grocery stores we have Metropolitan Market. There is one near where I work and yes, it is really fancy.

And every time I have been in there regardless of what section I've been in I have been treated warmly. I am clearly not the thin, clearly money having part of their demographic. I know that and there is the fact that I enjoy being there.

Even when I only have a couple of dollars for a cup of tea or maybe a little piece of fancy cheese no one there has made me feel uncomfortable. I have been treated to spontaneous (at least they appear to be) little lively discussions about the wonders of goat cheese and given excellent food recommendations that will not bother my digestion.

I've been pointed at awesome on sale items in a non douchy way.

Over all, in my brain if I'm going to spend the extra money Whole Foods can go to hell.

Now moving along.

When it comes to wellness and eating in a manner that supports wellness I have all too often watched people swinging their privileged fists about it (metaphorically speaking of course, I have yet to see an actual fist fight about this) about how if only fat people would make the "hard" decisions we'd be ever so much better off.

I really don't care for proselytizing in any form and food related proselytizing sets me off every time.

For instance.

I know a lot of vegans/vegetarians. The underlying message from (OH HAI PETA I'M LOOKING AT YOU) is that if you eat that way, if you make that decision everything is going to be fucking fantastic.

You are going to be thin, you are going to be popular, your poop will sparkle and smell like flowers, everything will change.

If you eat "clean", if you don't eat carbs, if you eat baby food, if you'd only try eating some veggies, if you eat blablabla.

The idea is always that if you appear to be fat or OH!SHIT!OBESE than there is no possible way you could be eating well. Of course you eat all trash all day and never ever do anything else.

So people feel perfectly comfortable preaching their own dietary gospel to you and you know what folks? People who are fat don't need or want to fucking hear it.

90% of the time these Dietary Proselytizers would never walk up to an apparently thin person and give this spiel.

Being that I have been visibly thinner and visibly fatter, I have experienced these things.

When I was thinner maybe occasionally at the gym someone would suggest a protein shake for me or other similar thing but no one ever tried to convince me that everything that was still wrong with my body would be fixed by eating their way.

I can tell you that at least once a week someone in my general sphere of travel says something about how I eat. Or how they think I eat.

Just recently, I had someone who doesn't know me at all except to wave at suggest that I not have sugar in my coffee because I must watch my blood sugar. When I gave this person a blank look she replied that I'd have to watch myself for diabetes.

I don't know this woman. She doesn't know my name, has never seen my medical records but as with so many things my appearance gives her erroneous clues.

So I'm saying again that appearance is not equal to current health status.

I say again that what other people eat or what they do or don't do with their bodies is none of your fucking business unless they make it your business.

I say again that someone just being in the world walking around fat or thin does not make their body your business. Sight does not equal ownership.

All this said, here it is.

If you want to talk to me about food you're welcome to do so. If you want to tell me that you changed your diet and feel great that's awesome. But do not expect me to sit still for being lectured, preached to or worse yet judged.

To bring it back to Whole Foods, their shitty customer service not withstanding, after reading about some of their corporate policies, I wouldn't shop there any way.

The employee discount being related to BMI is enough to tell me that they like the diet industry don't give a fuck about your health, my health or their employees health. They want their money.


In non ranty news, I have made some of my fiction available for free download. You can find that right here. Most likely at some point I'm going to be doing a little collection monthly and leaving all the download links there for everyones enjoyment.

Now I am going to make some awesome coffee, drink it and be merry.

Homo Out.


Raven Nightshade said...

I already decided 3 or 4 years ago that Whole Foods could go fuck itself. All it took was one trip, fueled entirely by curiosity, and I was done. The aisles were tiny, the merch was expensive, the people were uppity and rude, and the store was too crowded for my personal sanity.

Fortunately, despite being in Whole Foods' home base of Texas, they can be avoided in favor of Central Market and their parent chain HEB.

What I would like, though, is a Trader Joe's. This is fueled entirely by my selfish quest to obtain their hair products.

Piffle said...

Yeah, I like Trader Joe's too, and wish we had one close by, they have good prices and interesting stuff.

I've never been to a Whole Foods, and it sounds like I haven't missed much!

My budget is a bit flexible, so what I do is buy organic if it's less than thirty cents a pound different from regular. I've found that often the organic bananas are only about ten cents a pound more. So they're actually one of the things I buy.

I am thinking about buying more organic though, because there was a study recently showing that kids with higher levels of malathione in their blood showed more hyperactivity; and all of mine are ADHD (diagnosed). It might be worth the expense for us, in our particular situation

Rachel said...

"I say again that what other people eat or what they do or don't do with their bodies is none of your fucking business unless they make it your business."

This. THIS!! People need to learn to mind their fucking beeswax these days, seriously.

I am a vegetarian but not a conversion-happy one, seriously, I've met more pushy omnivores than veggie types in my time but this isn't the time and place for that rant.

I am vegetarian namely because I simply don't like meat but also because I think it's more budget-friendly, and in terms of kitchen safety, a safe bet (ie, if I don't cook tofu all the way it's perfectly fine, uncooked pork = trip to the ER.)

I don't think my food choices give me grounds to think I'm morally superior to anybody, nor should anyone else think it either. But for the uppity types you mentioned?

Ha, they'd look down upon me for being a "bad" vegetarian for eating cheese and not engaging in "clean eating" (because cutting out an entire food group is so healthy...?) and because I buy mostly frozen vegetables since that's what my budget and crappy food storage situation accomodates.

The ZOMG U FATASS types always engage in that "eat more vegetables" richsplaining because they've never had to live in places where food storage is an issue.

Katy said...

Those who would like to buy more organic foods, but find it hard on a budget should check out the "dirty dozen" - which foods are most likey to be contaminated by pesticides and therefore recommended to buy organic-
PS Bananas are on the "least likely" list!

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