In Defense of 'Annoying' Whole Foods Shoppers

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whole foodsWhenever my boyfriend and I mention to some of our friends that we spend a ridiculous amount of time and money at our local Whole Foods, their jokey response usually involves the expression "Whole Paycheck." Yes, we get it, ha ha, it's pricey to buy organic. But now, the occasional teasing actually has my boyfriend feeling a bit concerned. He says maybe we shouldn't be dropping so much dough there? Maybe we'd be fine just going back to the regular grocery store? It's gotta cost less, right, and then, we wouldn't be those "obnoxious" people who only shop at Whole Foods. You know, the ones who drive dueling Priuses through the parking lot and get irritated in the quinoa aisle, as featured in the oh-so-clever viral "Whole Foods Rap" video.

But every time he campaigns to stop shopping there, I say, "Hell no!" (or something like that). Why? Because I'm PROUD to be the "kind of person" who shops there.

I only see the benefits in being the kind of person who opts for natural stevia over man-made Splenda or aspartame, who is leaning more toward veganism (although I confess, I won't give up fish!) every day, and who worries about pesticides on her fruits and veggies. Why should I be ashamed of the fact that I care if there's BPA lining my cans or rBST in my yogurt? Should I feel guilty for spending a little extra money, so I don't have to have endocrine-disrupting fluoride in my toothpaste or poisonous chemicals in my sunblock or facial moisturizer?

Some of the foods and products I can only buy at Whole Foods I buy because I have hormonal issues that I'm doing my best not to exacerbate with environmental toxins and my diet. But aside from that, I'm lucky that a lot of the reasons I shop at Whole Foods are personal choices (like skipping meat) and philosophies I believe, like "you are what you eat" and "food is medicine" blahblah. In other words, it's not actually a matter of life or death for me.

But for some people, like those who have celiac disease, it sure is! They have to eat gluten-free foods that only Whole Foods or similar stores carry, or else they run the risk of not only feeling like crap but getting cancer, stroke, diabetes, osteoporosis. And what about people with a serious lactose intolerance or a severe nut allergy? At Whole Foods, you can actually find almond/soy/coconut/hemp milk or nut-free foods.

Although regular grocery stores are making progress and slowly but surely stocking some more natural, organic, allergy-friendly products, Whole Foods and similar natural health food stores are the only places most health-conscious or allergy-affected to find everything they want and need under one roof.

In short, falling under the category of "health-conscious" or "allergy-affected" doesn't make someone a snob or a pretentious jerk. It means you don't mind budgeting or scrimping on other things so you can spend on "smarter" groceries, which may actually help you save more money in health care costs down the road. It means you prioritize your well-being. There's absolutely no harm in that.

What do you think of people who shop at Whole Foods?

 

Image via Leon Brocard/Flickr

eating healthy, general health, hormonal imbalances, healthy habits, obesity, nutrition, natural health, organics

27 Comments

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tgiamt tgiamt

I wish I had the money to shop only at whole foods. Granted I'd have to actually have one near me as well. My husband and I used to love to go in there and wander around and pick up new things to try. 

jagam... jagamama0710

I absolutely agree with you and feel NO shame shopping there! :) I don't get all of my groceries there though. Mostly meat, produce, local foods, and anything else that looks interesting. I love WF, even if it does cost me a lot. I love to cook and try all kinds of new natural things so it's like a candy store for me. lol We have a Sunflower Market here too though and a lot of times they're cheaper so I go there as well. It's further though so I only stop there if I'm already in that part of town. For the rest I go to our Super Target.

nonmember avatar Emma

I used to shop at Whole Foods exclusively. Then we started discovering all of the wonderful local farmers markets and actual farms near us. So instead of supporting some massive organic grower in CA, I am supporting local growers who choose sustainable growing practices, support our local economy, and welcome me into their little farm stands with a smile. And I get 8 dozen organic eggs for $20. :) So now WF seems like just another big box store to me, and I wish those shoppers would take the time to find their local growers instead.

GlowW... GlowWorm889

We don't have one around, but Hannaford's is good enough for me. Plus the local farmer's markets, which are HUGE here during the summer. I think we buy more produce from them during the year than we do from the grocery store. :P

jagam... jagamama0710

Emma - Our Whole Foods carries some local produce, milk, meat, products, etc. 

jagam... jagamama0710

Also, I have no problem with local growers or farmers market so I don't mean that's a bad way to go. lol That's my ideal way to go and I do that sometimes as well but not constantly. 

hempm... hempmommy87

I don't get why it's annoying unless you are being snoody about it but I actually LOVE shopping at health food stores. I've spent a lot of money, of course but it's totally worth it in my opinion. Wouldn't it be cheaper in the long run to spend a little extra to eat healthy if it's keeping you from having to pay so much in medical bills due to eating a ton of crap? I like to look at the big picture and see what the long-term effects of my decisions are. 

Anast... Anastazia975

I think people give you crap and think you're snooty because you write posts such as "diet soda drinkers are as ignorant as smokers" You can be proud of being a whole foods shopper and not be a condescending jerk. Most people believe it or not do try to eat the right things and make good decisions.

nonmember avatar Andrea

Very well put Anastazia!

nonmember avatar Brianna

Hey, ignorant masses, diet soda IS as bad as smoking. Read studies and untie your panties. I'm not sure if we have Whole Foods in Canada but I do a lot of my shopping at Organza which is a local/organic/free-range store. They have much of the vegan food I require and a great bulk section.

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