I Love Whole Foods Therefore I Am Silent

I crazy love Whole Foods. Like, writes inappropriate fanfic levels of crazy love. But every time I go there, and this is fairly often, I become immediately intimidated and silent. Basically, every woman there either looks like a supermodel or the world’s hippest Mom. Like, a Mom who plays bass in an indie rock band but still has time to nurture her children’s imaginations and cold press her own juices. And all of the men look like on-the-brink of fame musicians or poets.

And there is so much flannel that somehow looks sexy? My flannel never looks sexy it looks like, you know, flannel.

As if that isn’t intimidating enough, I have no food intolerances. I handle gluten, dairy, wheat, and sugar just fine. So, I don’t feel like I belong to any of the totally awesome sections of the store that cater to specific dietary intolerances. I just know that if I wander into those sections, everyone will know I’m a fraud who can eat cheese with baquettes. Β A few weeks ago, I bought some gluten free brownies and then hung my head in shame for the next two hours because I didn’t really need them to be gluten free and what if someone who really has gluten allergies didn’t get a brownie that day because a gluten-tolerant butthead bought the only brownies they can eat? WHAT. IF.

And the juice cleanses. Do I need to cleanse? If I didn’t, why where there be so many freshly pressed juice sections? I just know I’m missing out on something there. Everyone else seems to know the secret of glowing skin and a bodacious bod – is it cleanses? Is it? Why does one juice cost $9? I have so many questions, butΒ every time an impeccably styled Whole Foods model/employee asks me if I need help, I immediately become a mute. Because I know if I say anything, they will know that I eat at Taco Bell sometimes and they will shun me.

It’s better to stay quiet and nod (but like in a cool way) than be outed at Whole Foods as someone who occasionally eats Taco Bell. This is one of the few things in life I know to be absolutely incontrovertibly true.

46 thoughts on “I Love Whole Foods Therefore I Am Silent

  1. I totally get the intimidation factor. I just run in, head straight for the sushi, grab it and go. It’s all I know. The rest is scary, yet intriguing, but I don’t want to look like a tourist….. Even though I really want to be touristy and check out all the cool foods us “normal” people never get to see. I can totally rock it at Trader Joes though. I think it’s the Walmart version of whole foods. Plus they have the most incredible waffle cookies……….totally worth the uncomfortableness!

  2. I have food sensitivities, but often feel like a liar or sound like a hypocrite because there’s awesome stuff I can still eat. E.g., I have “selective” lactose intolerance – I can eat aged cheese (old cheddar!) but not sour crΓ¨me. Sometimes it’s easier to ask for a vegan meal vs. describing in length to a server my scale of dairy digestability, then ask for a side of crispy bacon.

  3. Funny enough, I work at a competitor and I went shopping at Whole Foods this weekend for the first time. I kind of loved it too. I bought a couple of different new items I’d never heard of before just because they display the product so well. It’s like every single shelf is asking you to come take a look!

  4. Hahahah I love this! It’s so interesting how every subculture inevitably creates tension and distance. I wonder what the ratio is of confident to questioning hipsters.

  5. Happy to have found your blog!

    Regarding Whole Foods: I love it too but don’t have any obscure dietary needs or anything. Sometimes I go there just to get ketchup, which I promise is just like normal ketchup but just, like, organic and less poisonous. I say you ask for it and you ask for it proudly! Everyone totally deserves poison-less food.

  6. When I visited Austin I went to wholefoods with my Austin friend. I adored it but can relate. I spent the whole time pretending I understood what I was looking at, or that I was really hip and could easily afford it all. Perhaps you are the only one in there feeling guilt for pretending, I just enjoyed it!

    Wish they’d open one here.

  7. Amanda Hill says:

    Great post. We won’t be mad about the brownies but don’t take the gluten free beer! My favorite place for beers ran out and I solely blame my boyfriend who would drink them because he liked the taste but has no allergy to gluten.

  8. So I am a poet and I often go to whole foods. Also, I play guitar. Here’s a tip for feeling more comfortable there. Put on a fake arm-sleeve (tatoo-kind) or find yourself “experimenting” so that you can cook for/ entertain a friend with celiac disease. If you do one or both of those things you will feel much more at home there.

  9. Whole Foods has a nice atmosphere, but it was a bit intimidating the one time I’ve been in there. The closest one to me is also 45 minutes away, so with the increased prices plus the extra gas money, I stick with my local Safeway and the health food store ‘Sunshine’ we have here. πŸ˜›

    1. I’ve told Captain Thoughtful we can never move anywhere that doesn’t have a Whole Foods within 1 hours driving distance. But, you make a good point about the gas money…..I hadn’t thought of that.

  10. Just remember those people didn’t start out that way either, most of them probably ate at Taco Bell at some time as well, then they embraced health and learned about what was best for their body. It’s the same as in the gym, everyone starts at the gym looking sluggish and out of shape or overweight. The people at Whole Foods (at least the few I’ve been to) are so happy so share their knowledge, ask them what the juice thing is about.

    I get the gluten free brownie guilt, not much you can do about that. Just eat it but honestly is it worth eating? Sounds bleh.

    1. Full disclosure – I have no idea whether I do or not. A lot of people tell me I don’t but then I keep getting notifications that people “liked” my post so that would indicate I do but….I really don’t know.

      1. I appreciate your honesty :)) I’m going to go to the bookstore, practice up on Where’s Waldo, and then try looking again some other time! If your posts weren’t so likeable, I wouldn’t have this problem haha

      2. I can like your posts on the reader page but there isn’t a like button on your page. That I can find. So your notifications come from people liking it on their reader pages.

  11. Scriblet says:

    I totally get this. I’m not a super-fan of Whole Foods like you (your enthusiasm is awe-inspiring) but I get the intimidation factor. When I lived in Toronto and shopped there, I’d feel like the token scraggly ragamuffin they’d let into the store once a day just to prove they not totally exclusionary. I’d eat my sandwich and have my pop all the while thinking “I could’ve ordered the large pizza and garlic bread specials from my pizza place for the same price.”

    I take comfort in the conviction that out there, some super hipster/ninja Mom just dropped her kids off at school and made a beeline to McDonald’s for the a breakfast sandwich and hash browns. After calling in sick to her power-hot-mom-and-baby yoga, of course. Not even they can do hot yoga with a greasy belly.

  12. “Charles: Have you ever savored the epicurean delight of fresh octopus?
    Potter: I don’t care for any food that hangs onto the plate when you pick it up.”

  13. Very entertaining πŸ™‚ I enjoyed this humerous account, that focuses on our insecurities and makes a mockery of them! I would have pressed ‘like’ but can’t seem to find the appropriate button. M.

  14. emmlaa says:

    This is brilliant, it also got be thinking like most of your posts…. would you mind if I did a blog response to this? x

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