If you think Whole Foods is just a grocery store for food snobs or is full of over priced organic produce please keep reading! I had the opportunity to take a tour and I learned so much about what Whole Foods stands for as a company. They believe in sustainable agriculture, high standards for animal welfare and community giving. My favorite is the School Salad Bar Program which the Whole Kids Foundation has established to grant over 3,450 salad bars to school cafeterias, serving more than 2 million children across the U.S.
We started our tour in the produce section. Whole Foods tries to bring in as much local produce as possible, most within 40 miles. Getting food that fresh makes a huge difference in taste and quality. They have approximately 70% organic and 30% conventional produce. If there is one thing I will never buy conventional again it is strawberries. My kids eat them like candy and will easily eat an entire container in one sitting. I thought using a produce wash and rinsing well with water would do the trick. Unfortunately strawberries soak up chemicals that are sprayed on them and they are absorbed all the way through the fruit. Below is a list of produce that is worth spending a little extra to get organic. There is also a list of least contaminated produce that you can buy conventional and save some money.
Moving on to the meat department which I tend to struggle with. I have an extremely soft heart when it comes to animals. I don’t believe everyone needs to become vegan but I do believe we need to be educated on how animals are treated and what they are being injected with. These things affect our food and in turn they affect our health. Whole Foods uses a 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating system. Please click on the link for further explanation.
Our tour included some great samplings! We had fresh guacamole with chips made right there in the store, gluten-free version of a Kit-Kat, smoked pork and wine. The salad bar in this store in incredible, grab a container and load it up however you like, pay by the pound. I even found out that if you buy anything from the seafood or meat department they will cook it for you! My husband was excited when I told him they even make fresh pizzas.
The best tips to saving money at Whole Foods is to watch for their 3 day sales on the weekend. For example if chicken is on sale for $0.99/lb. you can stock up and put it in your freezer. You can also buy food from the bulk bins like nuts, grains, dried fruit or beans (they even allow you to bring in your own clean container – less garbage for the environment!).
I went back the next day for lunch and hit up the amazing never-ending salad bar. 🙂
Have you shopped at Whole Foods before? What are some of your favorite things you get?
Enjoy your day! 🙂