After a few months of being very good about never shopping at Whole Foods, I have caved. Whole Heartedly caved. I love it. I love the lighting, I love the smell, I love the way the vegetables are arranged, I love the organization of the dairy section, I love the way you can sample types of cheeses and have actual conversations with the person behind the cheese counter about the flavors, textures, melting temperatures, tartness, or crumbliness of each of them. I love the music. And the carts. And how nice everybody is. And how easy it is to buy sustainably produced everyday things. I know I'm succumbing to a ridiculously awesome marketing campaign, but I honestly don't care.
I love that every type of bacon comes in different thicknesses. They sell soap called, "Coconut Skin Trip," they sell veggie flavored Pirate's Booty, and they sell quinoa pasta. The organization makes sense to my feet as I walk around.
I don't like asking for special treatment and I do like foods made of flour, so shopping for gluten free breads, pastas, fried things -- it's tough in other places, even if they carry the stuff, because it's never obvious where it is. I know it's stupid, but I get embarrassed telling people I need the gluten free section, like I am asking them a favor. But Whole Foods makes it so easy. It's all clearly marked. For every regular wheat item, there's at least one gluten free option. I never have to feel uncomfortable. Obviously, I'm working on the thing about asking for my dietary needs to be met in other places, but to walk into a place to do all my shopping and know that not once am I going to feel weird about my food is really great.
Food is important to me. Feeding people is something I get a lot of joy out of. Since this whole gluten intolerance thing, Food has become something I worry about instead of something easy for me and my people to gather around and enjoy each other over. Shopping, going out, eating at other people's houses -- there's a hitch now. That's fine, I can deal (or I'm learning to), but today, when I stopped at Whole Foods on my way home from work to get supplies for chicken soup, I felt better just walking in there. I felt like I was with a bunch of people whose food philosophies and mine just meshed.
This life thing is most rewarding when it's hard, but it's nice, when I'm cooking and grocery shopping and feeding people, to only feel the good and simple parts.
(There's a really cheap connection with Whole Foods and Whole Eating and all that to be made here, but really, I'm not going to do it.)
Best of all, the chicken soup was perfect.