Friday, October 02, 2009
Or: What have you bought at Whole Foods lately?
Out of gratitude for Whole Foods CEO John Mackey's stand for physician and patient freedom, I decided some time ago to do part of my shopping at the grocery chain on a regular basis. Not being familiar with Whole Foods or in agreement the anti-technology philosophy underpinning much of the "whole foods" movement, this posed a quandary for me at first: What would I buy?
I didn't want to end up like some "buycotters," who are apparently loading up with things like, "weird juice stuff" and "brown rice" that I'd never use. (I'm definitely laughing with them here. One such "buycott" reportedly generated over $45,000 in an evening in St. Louis, based on 70% of its participants' receipts.)
As I learn my way around, I'm starting to see that the answer will lie among the trove of gourmet and hard-to-find items the chain stocks, as well as certain things my usual store doesn't do that well. For a one-shot thing like a buycott, it might be fine to save time by reaching for the nearest steel-cut chicken breast or free-range grapefruit (I'll never pass as a regular here.), but I don't do handouts. These trips are going to be trades, to his and my mutual benefit.
For example, I recently made this Guinness and lamb stew, and noticed that my normal store barely had enough lamb on hand to make it. I'll see whether the Whole Foods meat department does a better job at this the next time I'm there. If so, I plan to go straight there the next time I want to make it -- and I will want to make it again.
But on an earlier trip, I hadn't thought about that strategy and I wasn't in the right mood to look around. The only thing that saved me from leaving empty-handed or making a token purchase of ordinary items was the pleasant memory of a smoked tea I hadn't had in a while that an old friend introduced me to ages ago. I recalled that he bought it at Whole Foods, so I looked for it and found it. That tea, a smoked tea from China, lends its name to the title of this post. Seven bucks for fifty bags. Not bad! (No, I didn't catch the irony of purchasing tea at the time.) In any event, I'm now set with one of my favorite kinds of tea for the next couple of months of cool weather.
In closing, I'll briefly note that I'm glad to see that the buycott effort to offset the continuing, if sporadic leftist boycotts of Whole Foods is continuing. If there are any minds to be won in the shopping aisles, I think our side will win easily!