Thursday, November 4, 2010

Whole Foods is coming! (So what?)

Posted By on Thu, Nov 4, 2010 at 1:34 PM

OK, I admit it: When I saw the "breaking news" this morning about Whole Foods coming to town I got a little excited. A few years back, when I lived in Atlanta — a place that didn't have to beg Whole Foods to open stores, I was a regular-enough shopper. (They really do have some good eats.) But, once I read past the headline my excitement turned into disgust.

Here's why:

South Park? Are we sure South Park needs one more grocery store, because I thought they were all ready full-up. In a time when you don't have to explain what a food desert is, it's really annoying that yet another grocery store is being established in an area that doesn't need one.

Also, your company people came right out and said, in The Charlotte Observer article about your new store, the company is putting the store in South Park because its food is pricey. This is no surprise ... but the balls! Really. You are telling a whole, diverse city that you're only interested in serving people who won't look at your price tags because your products are more expensive than most. That smacks of vanity, materialism, consumerism and screams status symbol. Those things do not equal healthy food in my mind. Good quality food should not be a status symbol.

So, fuck you Whole Foods. I've lived without you since I moved to the Queen City and I'll continue living without you. I'd rather spend a year in my organic garden than drive 15 minutes to your new store.

The Healthy Home Market in South End, Trader Joe's in University City, WalMart in Denver ... those are the shops for me. See, it's not the commute to your store that matters to me, nor is it the fact that you're a corporation, it's your attitude I can't stand. I'll drive for good, healthy food and great customer service, but I won't drive for a status symbol in a world aching for equality.

Other food news:

The connection between geography and obesity. Or, why does the South have so many food deserts? (Answer: Status.)

Rhiannon "Rhi" Bowman is an independent journalist who contributes snarky commentary on Creative Loafing's CLog blog four days a week in addition to writing for several other local media organizations. To learn more, click the links or follow Rhi on Twitter.

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