My favorite health food store closed a while ago and has forced me to seek my groceries elsewhere. You’d think this wouldn’t be a problem, but unfortunately, it has become quite a dramatic quest.
I subscribe to the “try not to put chemicals and vast quantities of sugar into your body” theories. So before, when I shopped at Wild Oats I could find all kinds of fun and tasty things to try that were mercifully free of dyes, sugars, and multitudes of preservatives. I didn’t mind spending the extra money. It was worth it to me. So I happily shopped there for years until its demise. Now I am forced to go to…(insert ominous scary sound here) The Conventional Grocery Store.
Let us list a few factors to be wary of:
- Normal grocery stores all smell like sour milk to me. Gross.
- There are usually ill-behaved children at these stores. (not once did I come across one at Wild Oats)
- 95% of the food contains chemical preservatives, dyes, vast amounts of sugar in more forms than one can count, is made from dehydrated bits of things or overprocessed into forms you can’t even understand.
- The other 5% is produce which a) is almost never organic and the small selection they have is rarely fresh, b) covered in waxes and pesticides.
- Products have far too much packaging and are designed to attract the attention of children.
- Long lines for checkout.
- The shopping carts always seem to have that one wobbly wheel that forces you to wrestle the cart around the store not unlike trying to get a stubborn horse or mule to move.
- The checkout ladies always seem to have those scary 2″ talons in the place of normal fingernails, strange unnatural hair colors and usually smell like smoke. The men are less scary, but usually look downtrodden and sullen. Not the way to perk up my day, let me tell you.
- Poor attitudes and health. No really, usually the people that shopped at Wild Oats were generally friendly, seemed to be in healthy weight ranges, and went about choosing food in a calm and pleasant manner. At the regular grocery store people are stressed, overweight and hastily throwing cans of overprocessed slop into their carts. Eeeek!
- And have I mentioned there is sugar or chemical sweeteners in literally EVERYTHING?! Yeah, just making sure you get the point.
So my only other option is to drive about 25 minutes to Whole Foods, which is a great store, but definitely more crowded and expensive than Wild Oats was. I don’t mind going every once in a while but that is a long way to go when you just need to pick up a few things. Trader Joe’s is generally natural and cheap; I love them for certain items. However they do focus on packaged foods and their produce is usually in bulk and not very tasty. Sprouts is where I go most often these days. However, they have the worst tomatoes of all the options and a lot of packaged foods that contain ingredients I’d rather not eat.
I am looking forward to moving to Austin because, though I wept quietly when I heard they don’t have a Trader Joe’s, farmer’s markets are supposedly abundant there. Hooray for convenient and fresh produce!
Does anyone else feel my pain? What solutions have you found to eat healthy in the absence of convenient health food?