Monday, May 17, 2010

If you search for happiness, don't go looking farther than your own back yard.

We finally found time today to go to Whole Foods. I mentioned a few days ago that I had been in search of some organic peanut oil. Well I decided that if I was going to go to Whole Foods for one item, I would just get everything there.

I had visions of isles of prefect and organic produce, all varieties of blissful fruits and vegetables. I expected 10 different varieties of organic tortillas and organic cheese to write home to my parents about. And I kind of found it, but I kind of didn't at the same time.

I did find beautiful fruits and veggies. Everything seemed to have a coat of gloss paint on it. But I was surprised to see that half of the produce was conventional and the other half organic. I did like that the store labels items that are local. Probably there are local varieties at Fairway, but they don't label them, so who will ever know?

I am a store brand shopper. I always try to buy everything from the store brand at Fairway, because it is cheaper and I think very high quality. Many of my friends do the same thing, I know the Fairway brand sells faster and so those goods are fresher. The Fairway brand is always clearly labeled as to whether the items are organic or not. At Whole Foods, I always thought that the 365 brand was always organic. It is not. And there were times that I found it hard to find the organic labeling on the packaging. Maybe that was just because I was looking for the label of organic and it wasn't there.

The most amazing thing though??? Price. I discovered that Whole Foods was no more expensive or less expensive than Fairway. I was SHOCKED about that. Mostly because I have said that I felt that Fairway was such an affordable grocery store, and at the same time I have been convinced that Whole Foods was so expensive. And maybe Fairway's conventional items are less expensive. But when it comes to organics, the brands are identical and the price is nearly identical. Some things you pay 10 cents more for other you pay 10 cents less. It is a wash.

I am happy with everything that I bought at Whole Foods. There are a couple of items and brands that they carry that I cannot find anywhere else. so I will probably try to run over during a lunch break to buy a bottle of prized oil or a great cheese. but I don't need to go out of my way to get all my groceries at Whole Foods. Heck, Fairway has a parking lot. And to me that is huge!

But I think the thing that stood out the most to me was that all the brands of organic items were exactly identical. Whole Foods did not have an expanded selection that was apparent to me. That says to me what I have heard for a long time. That there really aren't as many organic options in this country. For the millions of people in this country only a small percentage can eat food that is not conventionally grown. Not because of price, but because there is not enough supply. But my generation is coming. Our demand of organic food is growing because we are all seeing the effects of the 'modern' way of life. So much progress has been made recently, but we have a long way to go before we can proclaim that every child in this country has access to foods that have been created at every level in a way that preserves the land for their future.

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