we've heard a few people say that whole foods = "whole wallet" lately. that's not our experience, so jo suggested i write a bit about that here. we hoped it might help someone find that they could make the choice to shop there, if they'd like. :) we often associate the idea of a health food store or co-op with higher prices, in addition to high quality, local and organic food. i do not intend to advocate solely for shopping at whole foods (it's just what we have) but any "health food store" or co-op that might be in your area. a small, locally owned business would probably be my preference, if i had the choice.
almost exactly a year after moving here, and after already reading and thinking much about our food and the environment…i heard about bea johnson, via this. i devoured her blog and became incredibly interested in the idea of a zero-waste lifestyle. i knew a lot would have to change, but i was ready to try. one thing that couldn't change was my budget. buying bulk is one of the main means to cutting kitchen waste... enter whole foods, the only place with bulk bins around here. it seemed pretty pointless to drive to whole foods, passing three grocery stores on the way, just for bulk. i decided to try shopping there exclusively.
i think the main trick to making a health food type store work on a budget is sticking to the outer aisles. this is where the healthiest foods are found anyway. i do boil my own beans, make my own cookies and pizza crusts, bake muffins and breads. we eat better now than we ever have and i am so happy to be feeding my family fresh, organic, responsibly grown food.
- soil health
- air, energy and climate
- waste reduction
- farmworker welfare
- water conservation and protection
- ecosystem and biodiversity
- pest management
i am proud to support a store who sees value in upholding standards that include these measurements. i know there are many health food stores and co-ops out there who value these things as well. we visited some on our road trip this summer. it is a pleasure to support the work they (and more importantly) these farmers are doing. i don't believe in everything that such a big business as whole foods supports, this i acknowledge, but i do believe they are doing good things and providing some good food for me and my family…even on my budget.
do your best!