With our new found obsession with Button, Amy and I are trying to eat healthier. Not "healthy" like eating "lite", "carb free", "reduced fat", or "diet" food. No, we're trying to eat healthy as in no high fructose corn syrup, no partially hydrogenated oils, no pestisides, no genetically modified foods, more whole wheats, humanely raised and slaughtered meat, and organic, organic, organic.

This of course means that we had to stop shopping at Kroger. Though our local Kroger does stock some organic foods, it is a small selection of mainly non-perishables. To make the transition to "whole foods", we really needed to start shopping at Whole Foods Market.

Shopping at Whole Foods Market isn't something completely new to us. When we lived on the north side of Ann Arbor, near the old Merchant of Vino (owned by WFM), we went healthy for about a year. We had decided to go vegetarian and we felt that the only way to make the break was to get away from Kroger. It felt like we were detoxing, eating food that had less "stuff" in it. But eventually, it felt more like an upper crust market with specialty foods rather than a health store. And once we moved to the west side, the convenience and value of Kroger pulled us back to the dark side.

Back to the present, where a new 50,000 square foot Whole Foods Market exists, we are now doing healthy again. We aren't trying to do vegetarian again, but we feel that, even though the price is higher, it is extemely important to be eating foods that are good for us. Sans my lunch from Sagient everyday of course ;)

The new Whole Foods Market really is a step above any grocery store I've ever seen. A major problem with the Merchant of Vino was that there was always something out of stock or they didn't carry a particular item. Whole Foods Market has a large enough foot print that it can carry everything that we need. And it's all healthy. Just take a look at the patrons. I can't recall seeing a single over weight person since we've been shopping at Whole Foods Market. But I can remember seeing a lot of over weight people at Kroger.


I dunno man, the expense is much greater, sometimes as much as 50% more. I understand the desire though. Every time I read about how our own foods may be killing us (film at 11:00), I get a burst of whole-fooditis, but then I resort to my old Hiller's ways. I'm not sure it's a healthy vs. unhealthy thing, suggesting that in addition to exercise etc, genetics and overall family history can serve as a good indicator of how you (will) process foods and what they ultimately mean for your life and longevity.

Chris, who's sleeping on my couch, makes a good point. Isn't your job done? We understand Amy's (and by extension Button's) need to eat healthy and responsibly, but can't you go to hell in a handbasket. I would get Mickey D's on speed dial, and keep a fridge of Ready-Whip by the bed.

Arbor Farms opened their new store within walking distance from your home, and while it isn't as big as Whole Foods it's a lot bigger than their old location.

There is no question that economics has a roll in eating decisions. It's quite obvious that there aren't a lot of people with lower incomes shopping at Whole Foods Market. But if you have the means, I highly recommend it.

The new Arbor Farms Market is a nice store too. They have improved the amount of items they stock and the new space is very nice. We get a lot of our vitamins there and when we need to pick up something quickly it's great. However, they are still limited in their selection and tend to have higher prices than Whole Foods Market.

Boy am i glad i am not living at the McKenna household any longer! I will take complete responsibility for exposing your poor, deprived child to all of the good things in life i.e doritos, donuts, cherry coke... hee hee!

Ok ... Time for big sis's two cents. If you really want to get down and dirty into eating really well may I plant the seed of eating locally...Especially since we are in the midst of harvest time! Go to your local farmers market and support your local food economy rather than dumping all your cash Whole Foods way (not that I don't love Whole Foods myself--luckily there isn't one in Kalamazoo to tempt me!). CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) subscriptions are great too (renting a farmer!).

In the case of packaged organic yummies may I also suggest finding a local food co-op. Once again, supporting your local economy and getting the same thing that you can get a Whole Foods for probably less $. You do need to save up for the Button's designer crib sheets and high chair! :-)

One thing about Co-ops, they can be like Merchant of Vino with unpredictable stocks but you have more options. Like buy cases of items that you really like or requesting items that you want them to order for you. It just takes a little flexibility and some planning to get the most out of Co-ops.

Think beyond your waist line and start think about supporting your local growers and meat processors (Think about "Fast Food Nation"!). I would imagine that Ann Arbor has some sort of local meat processor. Galesburg Meat Company serves the Kalamazoo Area so we can buy locally pastuered beef, pork and poultry. Hooray! For more info...check out www.localharvest.org.

We do visit the Farmer's Market from time to time in the fall, but I'm afraid the Farmer's Market and food co-ops don't have enough customer convenience to really compete with Whole Foods Market. If we have to make more than one trip a week to get food and supplies, it's a hassle. And though Whole Foods Market doesn't support local growers as much as a food co-op, it does make an effort to support local growers.

"At Whole Foods Market, we are passionate about sustainable growing practices, supporting local producers and, of course, great food," John Mackey, president and CEO, Whole Foods Market.

Whole Foods Market may not be the bestest granola solution, but it provides a superior product in a convenient setting and holds itself to a high level of standards and ethics. Also, as the largest retailer of organic foods, they have a lot of control over the quality and ethics of their suppliers. A lot like Wal-Mart controls its supplier's prices. With Whole Foods Market's purchasing power, they can make industry wide changes towards higher quality and ethical standards and a stustainable future.

I'm just relieved to hear a voice of reason coming from Sara.

Thank you George.

I've been looking into changing my shopping habits as well, pushed over the edge by a very clever little flash movie (which, by the way, can help you locate natural and organic food sources). There are a lot of free-range and grass-fed meat vendors who can mail you meat, and you can order by phone or even online. I've been trying to get enough people together to make it worth the money, since when buying direct from the farm the main expense is shipping...
I've been looking for alternatives to Whole Foods because it just bugs me that stores like that are SO expensive, and Whole Foods has had questionable relationships with labor in their past, although I don't know the details of that. My dream is that some farmer will meet me and think I'm so cool that they want to provide me with fresh food for cheap for the rest of my life...
Anyways, best of luck - I think it's a worthwhile endeavor.



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