I Was Not Prepared for the Wholeness: Blog-a-thon Day 11

I just needed to pick up a few things from the store. I even made a list, which definitely means that I mean business. But then I walked through the doors. Nothing looked too much out of the ordinary. Produce to the left. Bakery to the right. But then I took a closer look at the packaging. Mind you, on my drive to Whole Foods this morning I drank my Starbucks and had one of their delicious breakfast sandwiches (please sponsor me Starbucks). I even had the one with the egg whites. I was practically a nutrition expert. But somehow when you walk into Whole Foods you instantly feel like one of those case studies on the weird late-night TLC documentaries where the man gets a divorce, gives up on his appearance, and only eats sticks of butter.
In this day and age I am used to some of the packaging on different food products. “Low in fat.” Awesome… fat is bad. “No Sugar Added.” I guess that’s ok… however isn’t there sugar in the recipe? But then you get the obscure ones. “Loaded with antioxidants.” I don’t know what oxidants even are, but good thing I am “anti-ing” them. “Complete with good Omega-3 fats.” So wait… fat is ok now? These pale in comparison to some of the things at Whole Foods. There are so many things that are not in it that it makes you wonder what is. If there is no gluten, wheat, dairy, egg, or soy and it is low-carb, low-sugar, and low-fat… what is it? I think sawdust even has some of those things in it. But I need to get rid of them from my diet.
Apparently I have been eating C-4 that will kill every organ in my body. Good thing for kale… because if being in Whole Foods taught me anything, it is that kale really can solve any problem. Bad allergies? Eat kale. Skin breaking out a lot? Eat kale. World hunger? Those pennies a day that you’ve been donating because of those infomercials are actually buying kale. Sent that text to the wrong person? Just eat a kale chip. Pipes frozen in your house? Wrap them in kale. Here’s my question… if kale is apparently manna sent from heaven above, why has no one cared about it until recently. No one looked at the frilly green thing that was the garnish on your plate and thought,  ‘I should put this through a juicer and it will solve all of my problems.” For the record I did not buy the kale chips… I only sampled one.
I already knew I was up against a huge challenge. I needed fresh peanut butter. For those who don’t frequent Whole Foods, or for those who do but don’t hate themselves, there are these “fun” (that’s a lie) machines that grind peanut, almond, and cashew butter fresh for you. I don’t know what happens to those peanuts as they go through that machine but there is crack in there somewhere. It is so good. And as I package it up and put the label on I use every ounce of will power to ignore the price tag.
Beyond the peanut butter you reach the pasta aisle. Mind you, I didn’t need any pasta. It was not on the list… and dang it, I HAD A LIST! But there is something about Whole Foods (and Trader Joe’s for that matter) where I feel some obligation to walk down every aisle. I also feel like I should have an inner dialogue that says: “Maybe I will have a wine and cheese night with friends. Perhaps we can put out some organic crackers and a bit of baba ghanoush. Everyone loves a good baba ghanoush while listening to some Tegan and Sara. But I’ll make sure not to invite Dave. He always brings up socioeconomic activism in Ghana and I just can’t have that harassing out mood. And I must have some macaroons.” But while walking down the pasta aisle I noticed something. There is a whole economic hierarchy based completely in food. If you want white pasta, you’re all good. It’s like 2 bucks a box and you’re good to go. Now whole wheat pasta… you’re clearly moving up in the world. Then there is brown rice pasta, which is apparently the rich, distant cousin of whole wheat pasta. And finally you arrive at the Bentley driving, gated community living, quinoa. It’s truly the food of royalty.


At this point I had more or less grabbed the few items I had remaining on my list and the finish line was in sight. I passed the hot buffet which had 3 different iterations of potato salad (one of them had coriander… which was advertised as if it was super special and like a pot brownie or something). The only thing between me and the checkout clerk, standing there with her little green apron complete with ‘namaste’ button, was the giant refrigerated monolith: the Kombucha wall. If you are unaware of this nouveau plague, Kombucha is a type of fermented tea. Allow me to rephrase. Kombucha is rotten tea. There are actually varieties that are alcoholic and at the bottom there is a glob of rotten goop, similar to a dollop of Vaseline, called the mother (if you need me I’ll be vomiting in the corner). I don’t understand why people do this to themselves. Having now been in New York in the snow, I can only imagine that Kombucha tastes like that weird slurry of oil, garbage, and snow in the gutter. Finally I made it to the cash register. There next to the register was an ad for “Start Your Year Off With a Cleanse”… because nothing says New Year, New Me like not eating for 14 days and drinking some weird concoction of lemon juice, battery acid, and laxatives.
I finally made it to my car. I had my contemporary golden fleece, the brown paper bag, to prove to all around me that I am in fact better than you. I then drove home, drinking my Kombucha and rethinking my life. I was not prepared.

I hope everyone digs these quasi, stream of consciousness musings. Make sure to comment, share, and subscribe for more musings. Maybe next week I’ll go to Trader Joe’s.