The Whole Truth

I recently read, and thoroughly enjoyed, Defending Jacob by William Landay. Incidental to the story was a paragraph or two about a trip the family in the story made to their local Whole Foods Supermarket. This particular supermarket was described as catering to the well-to-do with high prices and specialty foods. They described waste because of inferior produce that was frivolously discarded. Consumer Reports echoed these findings in a recent issue ranking supermarkets.

Our grocery choices are limited. We have one Safeway in easy walking distance and a plethora of convenience stores. With effort, other grocery stores are available in an expanded area. In many ways, Safeway is the glue that holds our neighborhood together. Without a supermarket, living would be far more difficult downtown.

Photo from their website

My curiosity was piqued, however. There is a Whole Foods Supermarket in the Pearl District at NW Couch Street and NW 12th Avenue that we have walked past numerous times. Today we stepped inside and got acquainted with Whole Foods, its prices, and its offerings.

Prices were high, there is no debate. Yams were $1.99 per pound and I just paid 99 cents per pound at Safeway. Apples were $2.49 and more, much more. I just cannot imagine enjoying a $2 apple. National brand products like Coca-Cola, Kellogg’s, and Campbell’s were absent. Specialty foods like edamame and quinoa were in abundance. Organic, gluten-free, and locally grown products were the mainstay. A large selection of the most interesting and enticing prepared foods of the types sold in-store were available – from soups and salads to entrees and desserts and more. For anyone on a restricted diet by necessity or by choice, Whole Foods will probably have what you need and more.

Overall, Whole Foods is an interesting alternative. For now, I will continue at Safeway.


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