Fun at the Greengrocer

Or, “Whole Foods Never Lacks for Entertainment.”

I had the extraordinarily good fortune of running into one of my favorite people – we’ll call her Bozz – at one of the worst places in the world to be at lunchtime. Seriously, Whole Foods at noon is just one giant run on Tofu. Good luck trying to get to the cucumber salad when it’s right next to the Tof-rench Toast Sticks.

Running into somebody I know at the Whole Paycheck when I’m not “on my game” could easily send me into a shame spiral. I picture the shakedown like this:

“Hey, don’t you pee a self-righteous stream of consciousness into the pool of the interwebs? What’s that Chubby Hubby doing in your cart?”

I was happy to be sighted by Miz Bozz while agonizing over the Kombucha section, next to a totally non-hypocritical basket full of veggies, organic blah-blah-blah, and a few Larabars. Beyond that, my hair was brushed and I’m pret-ty sure I was wearing a bra. #Win!

Back to Bozz. She’s easily one of the best people this side of the Adirondacks (I don’t know what that means either). She loves talking food, all things Paleo & Weston A. Price, and was able to hold me back when a dear, sweet, caring mother in the Ice Cream/Frozen Vegetable section informed her four-year-old son that since regular ice cream hurts his tummy, they should get “something with soy in it.” So…she’s also got the strength of ten (non-estrogenized) men. I know it hurt her heart too, but she’s a much more sympathetic and loving character than I.

Oh, and Bozz eats liver. Yup, she’s THAT cool.

So after scooching ourselves over such that we were blocking the Tofurky section, we proceeded to gab for about an hour. Bozz has a bun in the oven, (yay!) so I spent the better part of the conversation trying to persuade her to name said bun after a particularly classic brand of Irish Whiskey. (It’s gonna happen.) It was at this point that I started snapping photos of stuff that was stupid.

First set – the Marauding Masqueraders:

Just look at the word “Tofurky.” Stare at it for 30 seconds. It’s a weird, creepy word. Like, shouldn’t be allowed within 20 yards of an elementary school creepy.  And why do they feel the need to euphemize a meat-like word such as “Turkey” but still use the word “pepperoni” like it’s NOT the name for a mash-up of delightfully gross piggy by-products? Next, there is no such thing as “Ham Style.” There is only Ham. It comes from a dead pig and it is Dee-licious. I suppose if they called it “Sliced Soy By-Product” it wouldn’t sell – but still. These companies are obviously aware of the fact that people – consciously and subconsciously – want M-E-A-T.

Next – the Technicality Trap:

Now, I kinda like chicken sausage. It’s decent stuff. But there are a few issues here:

First, the statement “always vegetarian fed.” Chickens are NOT vegetarians. They are meant to eat bugs, worms, and all manner of creepy-crawlies. This should read “always not fed a diet of ground-up feathered friends, feces, or hand grenades.”

Second, notice how it states proudly that the chicken is raised with “no added hormones” with the tiny little “1” that indicates there’s more to this statement. Look at that last line of text. “Hormones are not permitted in chicken per federal regulations.” Yes, folks. It’s illegal to use added hormones in chicken OR pork. They’re lauding their commendable achievement of not being illegal. Also, incidentally, it’s illegal to state something is “hormone-free.” Many restaurants make this mistake. Every animal has hormones in it. Then again, soy has phytoestrogens.

The MD Diet:

Another thing that’s stupid: My unrefined coconut oil that comes in the mason jars I like to keep is SOLD OUT because apparently some doof-nozzle MD said it’s OK. Now if we could just get Oz to say it’s healthy to jump off cliffs…


Okay, so I like that Whole Paycheck carries things like live yogurt, kefir, and coconut kefir. Food-based probiotics and fermented foods are critically important. But why must is be Low Fat? Dairy – cow boob juice – is NOT naturally low-fat. Low-fat dairy is a processed food. It’s also super. duper. lame.


I took a picture of this because it perfectly encapsulates my sometimes-feelings about “30 day challenges/Whole30s/Doing A Cave Girls.”

And last, I paid for it all with the following, a gift from my awesome in-laws: Dough, but in name only. (I see your grain-based propaganda, Whole Foods!)

Did I miss any irksome grocery-store #fails?


17 Responses to “Fun at the Greengrocer”

  1. When we first moved out here and I got into the whole/real food movement, I was bereft that we didn’t have a Whole Foods, TJs, or even a Wegman’s. But ya know what? It forced me to look other places: farms, local shops, farmer’s markets, etc. And other than the two-buck Chuck (which is now THREE dollars) I don’t miss anything from those stores. And I’m fairly lucky that my local supermarket chain (Hy-Vee) has an amazing Health Food and organic section to supplement things I can’t buy elsewhere.

    Since you LOOOOOOOOVE 30-day challenges so much, have you thought about trying to not not shop at The Big Names for a month or so to see if changes anything? Maybe once the weather is better and we’re not eating strawberries shipped in from who-knows-where?

    • I know exactly what you mean. Those three stores are my nemes(es?) (ises?) I think TJ’s is pretty horrendous. They sell far more than their fair share of soybean-oil-containing products. Every place out here is packed to the brim unless you go first thing in the morning! I’ve never seen anything like it. Moving out here really shook me up, because I was too scared to leave the house to go shopping for the longest time – this irrational fear happened to coincide with me getting more serious about “Paleo” eating, so I ended up seeking out less intimidating, more midwest-y options. It really was the first time I ever bothered with farm stands! There are many between our CH home and the AF base. My mom used to get corn and tomatoes from a roadside stand in KS and I thought it was so strange; now I’d rather pull over and grab a few things than suffer through the Waste Warehouses that are grocery stores. Although I do miss the health section at Hy-Vee. Oh, Hy-Vee! I miss you! And Hen House!

      WTF is a “Two Buck Chuck?” Because whatever it is, I like it.

      I love your idea about purging the BIg Names. You are freaking brilliant. I’m thinking about canning tomatoes this summer to try to get us through the winter without having to go…any experience with that?

      • Two-Buck Chuck is TJ’s brand of wine: Charles Shaw. It used to only be $1.98, hence the monniker. But now it’s $3 but still pretty good, especially for cooking or sangria and stuff. Not that I drink sangria. Nope, not by the pitcher with a straw. Not me.

        And no, I have never canned or preserved but I’m seriously thinking about it this summer. Our local college has 1-2 day classes to teach you and there are plenty of books. Maybe the local CC has some weekend classes? Are you going to grow anything yourself?

        Big Names are the end of the world. I believe it.

        And, hey, if you want anything from the good ol’ Midwest, lemme know. The only think I reaaaaly miss about NJ is the food options, like Ethiopian or Moroccan or Turkish. I mean, you drive down Rt 9 and can eat around the world. Here? Notsomuch.

  2. 1. I am totally stealing “Cow Boob Juice.”
    2. You should check out Tim Slagle’s rant on vegetarians. Funny stuff.

  3. I stay out of WholeFoods because otherwise, I cannot help but laugh at the hipster vegans who skip the produce section and head straight for the lentil burgers in the frozen section. Soy cheeze, tofudogs, tofurkey, ham style, it’s all disgusting processed crap.

    Now dead pig on the other hand… :0) yum!

  4. You have to tell me: Which whisky are you referring to?

  5. OH my god – I had a vegetarian boyfriend once who guilted me into getting a Tofurkey “roast” for Thanksgiving. WORST. THANKSGIVING. EVER.
    They put so much SALT in those things I was thirsty for hours afterward. BLERGH!
    Whole Foods in Redmond WA (close to my current lovely hot meat eating boyfriends work) is a shitshow around lunchtime. All the people with lotsa extra bucks spending it on overpriced “healthy” prepackaged crapola. I kinda get dizzy in there! I’ll take the outdoor Farmer’s Markeet with crowds & dogs anyday of the week over that place.

    • On the bright side, WF carries coconut aminos, they’ll slice a grass-fed steak nice and thin for delicious, wafer-like jerky (almost as good as tater chips) and they carry my cleansing oils! I’m starting to think, however, that these things may be worth ordering to avoid that whole “salt me, I’m a vegan” lunchtime scene. Or I could just avoid going during the lunch rush. I can’t WAIT for the farm markets to open up!

      I’m hoping your Tofurky Thanksgiving was your last Thx with that bf!

  6. Great post Liz! your writing style is hilarious…. and tofurkey is and sounds just plain creepy!

  7. Ha ha ha ha..doof nozzle. What a great insult.! It’s going in my book. I’m right with you on the tofurkey. The very sound of it gives me the shivers and a bit of a stomach heave.

  8. I realise this comment is not very timely but after perusing your blog and seeing this post, I had to comment on the yogurt thing. I really love plain yogurt…with fat. I love full fat plain yogurt too. I found it almost impossible though to find full fat plain yogurt in the States when I visit..or really higher fat any type of yogurt. Most all the yogurt is fat free..meaning high in sugar and low in taste.

  9. LOL, I once went to a vegan Thanksgiving in college. Let me tell you, I probably left more hungry than when I went in. Tofurky made a prominent appearance (does anyone else think it looks like a sea urchin with the spines removed? No turkey I know is radially symmetrical!). My sister and I joke about Tofurky containing “girblets” (aka vegan giblets). … Anyway, after I left that haven of tofu and grains, I drove straight to Wendy’s and got a giant cheeseburger.

    Thankfully (food-wise) my days of associating with the skinny-fat vegans (and fast-food, for that matter) are behind me. Now my friends all relish the thought of having half a cow resting comfortably in their freezers. 🙂


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