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Land of Plenty Gone Obscene?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Recently, in the early spring a Whole Foods Supermarket opened up in the East Village. It's not the first one, there are about 5 in Manhattan, but I've never been in one in NY. A friend who used to live in Montclair, NJ had one by her, that was very nice, but not out of the ordinary from what I have seen in Jersey. However the one in the East Village, is three levels, and has 30 plus checkout counters. No matter how I describe this place, I won't do it justice.

Level one, regular grocery section, huge produce, frozen foods, a mile long, or seems like it seafood section, a fresh meat section, apart from the already packaged meats section, a fresh coffee area, that is bigger than many apts in NYC, fresh cheese section, a beauty and cosmetic and vitamin section, that rivals a regular beauty supply store...I'm sure I'm leaving stuff out.

Level 2 (street level) A bakery, that I can't begin to describe...maybe 20 or more different types of cheesecake. Bread pudding, raspberry crisp, dark chocolate/ milk chocolate, breads from every country, mini cheesecakes, cookies, muffins, scones, pies and more bagels than your local NY bagel shop. And this does not count the prewrapped and refrigerated deserts. Three count em three hot food and salad bars...they are easily 30 ft long, and they hold hot and cold food from every country and for every lifestyle, Mexico (Make your own taco bar) Indian, Chinese, Middle Eastern, Italian, vegetarian, vegan etc. Then there is the "Deli" for lack of a better word, already,cooked fish/shellfish, chicken, spare ribs, leg of lamb, mashed potatoes,at least 4 kinds of potato pancakes, deli meats, deli salads..again I'm sure I'm leaving stuff out...oh the sushi and sashimi bar.

Top level: An area where you can eat. Desert bar, coffee bar, juice bar.

Now don't get me wrong I've shopped there about 6 times. I end up spending so much time there because I'm forever stopping to pick my jaw up from the floor. But I don't know I always feel guilty shopping in this Disneyland for food. I mean isn't this pure gluttony?
Do we really need this much? I can't help but think of third world countries who would kill for one type of potato, never mind 6 varieties!

I had to go to the East Village today (new glasses) and I made a conscious choice not to go to Whole Foods...went to the Food Emporium which now looks like a corner convenience store in comparison. I'm sure I'll return, it's too damn tempting. Maybe it's my inherited Eastern European guilt...anyone else feel that way?

I apologize if I made anyone hungry! LOL
post #2 of 16
I've only been to one Whole Foods store, in Chicago. It was not that big. That's nuts! I would go crazy over all that cheesecake! We have two Wild Oats stores in Indianapolis, and they are the size of most of the other larger supermarkets in this city.

I can't imagine having a health foods store that large! The two health food stores in the town where I'm moving are tiny, although they do have fresh produce. I would love a giant, organic seafood department. And cheesecake.. lots of cheesecake!!!
post #3 of 16
Why feel guilty? Its YOUR money, YOU earned it and if you want to spend it on yummy things to eat, why shouldn't you? Denying yourself isn't going to help one single person, in another country.

Besides, by shopping, you're helping the US economy. Look at all of the people that store employs: cashiers, stockers, butchers, bakers, cleaning people, their suppliers and their employees, truck drivers, farm workers - the list can go on and on. The store also generates tax revenue, which goes into paying for your police, fire, schools, etc.

Shop! Eat! Enjoy!
post #4 of 16
One of my favorite stores is Aldi. It is a bare bones, bag your own groceries, low cost store. My sister calls it mindless shopping, because there are very few choices. There is one of each item-canned veggies, cheeses, bread. Maybe 6 varieties of cheese, all the same brand. 2 choices of peanut butter, creamy or crunchy, in only one size. Most of their stuff is good, and we love to stock up there. Just the opposite of what you describe!
post #5 of 16
Personally I would love to shop there. We have a really nice health food co-op, not super huge, but it does the job. I think it is good that health food stores can be on the same level as regular shopping centers. A health food store the size of a walmart supercenter. I am sure it would be great. Think about when you go to walmart and there is an entire aisle for nothing but potato chips, and another for coke. I think it would make for a healthy(ier) america if more stores were like the one you described.
post #6 of 16
Mom, don't feel guilty, thinking of the "third-world'ers" that would kill for a potato, but consider instead, that instead of doing so much killing, (which is what they seem consumed with) if they would only take the time to PLANT a potato or two, then they wouldn't HAVE to kill for it. (except to protect their crop from someone else who WOULD kill for it)

Leonard
post #7 of 16
Mom of Franz, the produce at that store sounds fantastic. I would love to shop there because I buy a lot of produce and fish. Since fish (not including shellfish) is the only kind of meat I eat, the variety you described is something I would enjoy.
That wasn't your question though. Should we feel guilty for having so much? Good question. I appreciate good healthy food, so I would look at a store like that as a blessing, just like I look at the sweet juicy tomatoes that my boyfriend has been growing. On the other hand, I drive out of my way to shop where I can afford, so I probably would not shop there often.
As katl8e said, I don't think its wrong, especially if you share. Also, contribute to the charities you care about. We can't send them food, but we can help. From your previous posts I know you already do, so... I'm just trying to say DON'T FEEL GUILTY!
Anyway - where is this store? all the times I've been to NYC, I never even noticed a grocery store!
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by katl8e
Why feel guilty? Its YOUR money, YOU earned it and if you want to spend it on yummy things to eat, why shouldn't you? Denying yourself isn't going to help one single person, in another country.

Besides, by shopping, you're helping the US economy. Look at all of the people that store employs: cashiers, stockers, butchers, bakers, cleaning people, their suppliers and their employees, truck drivers, farm workers - the list can go on and on. The store also generates tax revenue, which goes into paying for your police, fire, schools, etc.

Shop! Eat! Enjoy!
Very good points, Cindy.
Barbara, that store sounds like a dream! The biggest food stores I've been in are WalMart Super Stores and Tesco's, and they probably pale in comparison. Is the food from organic farms?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beckiboo
One of my favorite stores is Aldi. It is a bare bones, bag your own groceries, low cost store. My sister calls it mindless shopping, because there are very few choices. There is one of each item-canned veggies, cheeses, bread. Maybe 6 varieties of cheese, all the same brand. 2 choices of peanut butter, creamy or crunchy, in only one size. Most of their stuff is good, and we love to stock up there. Just the opposite of what you describe!
I live in "Aldi Land", so I know exactly what you mean. The two brothers who own the chain are the richest people in Germany. The "store brands" are actually made by big-name producers, at least in Germany, but priced much lower. Several German magazines and websites give info on what is made by whom. There's also a competing "discounter" here, Lidl, and the chains often engage in price wars. The more expensive chains have had to cut the prices of many articles offered by the discounters. As a result, Germany has the lowest food prices in the EU. I've seen the average price of a bottle of Whiskas cat milk drop from 89 to 65 cents over the past few months.
post #9 of 16
I am so jealous! I have been to whole foods uptown in N.Y. but it was small. In Louisiana we have a nice one, but what this sounds like is paradise. I want to go
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
Do you want to know what I find almost funny in a weird sort of way? At the entrance of this particular Whole Foods, there is a sign that says...Anyone interested in a group tour should contact blah blah at 212 555-1234. I can almost hear the tourists...

"Okay Harry, let's see. First we'll do the Empire State Building, then Ground Zero, oh and we can't miss the Whole Foods Supermarket tour can we?"
post #11 of 16
I love Whole Foods however the closest one is a good two hrs away and its rather small. When I visit my sister in Charlottesville, VA I go there. But it is pricey but there soup/bakery is very good.
In Wisconsin we have a chain called Woodman's. Let me tell you if you wanted to go up and down every aisle checking everything out it will take I bet a good hour and a half. The frozen pizza aisle alone -yes a frozen pizza aisle have over 25 brands!!

But on the other hand I get bogged down as there is just too much to choose from!!
Its like I get paralyzed at what to buy, therefore over buying on stuff I really don't need. I mean Coke/Cherry Coke/C2/DietCoke/DietCokew/Splenda then all the decaffienated types come on..........
post #12 of 16
I am the dissenting voice cause I don't care for whole foods. They have gone way over the top, for instance the ones here have both organic and non organic *right next to each other* and we are not sure the people who work there (they have a lot of turn over and many who work there aren't produce savvy all the time...) know which is which so we don't trust when we pay tons more for the organics that they really are organic.

Another thing is they another big comglomerate based in Texas, I don'tlike that. So what I do is I get my basics at Trader Joes, and my fresh stuff I get at either, this little local grocer near my place, the organic only foo foo mart downtown(pricey but I trust them, all the staff knows their stuff) or the farmers market.
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom of Franz
Do you want to know what I find almost funny in a weird sort of way? At the entrance of this particular Whole Foods, there is a sign that says...Anyone interested in a group tour should contact blah blah at 212 555-1234. I can almost hear the tourists...

"Okay Harry, let's see. First we'll do the Empire State Building, then Ground Zero, oh and we can't miss the Whole Foods Supermarket tour can we?"
I don't find that odd at all. When I have visitors from the U.S. or Britain, one of the first things I do is take them to a German supermarket. They're usually surprised by the small range, but thrilled with bakeries and butcher shops here. Any visitors from Germany we had while living in the U.S. (not to mention my German husband) were fascinated by U.S. supermarkets. One couple actually counted the number of breakfast cereals on offer. Last summer my German nephew must have been in various WalMarts 3 or 4 times a week.
post #14 of 16
Tucson has several Wild Oats and Trader Joe's. I buy a few specialty items there but, their basic grocery selections are skimpy. The largest department, at TJ's is wine and I don't drink the stuff.

One of the original founders of Wild Oats has opened Sunflower Markets and they have excellent meat and produce. My only beef with them, is the distance from my house. I much prefer to shop the Fry's (Kroger), three blocks from home. They have great prices, a good selection and are conveniently located. They also have a huge Mexican food section and I can get the peppers and sauces, that I like to cook with. As for prices, I can usually get out of there, for between $50-70, each week and we eat well.
post #15 of 16
I love Whole Foods. They have very reasonable prices for a health food type of store. They have a wonderful variety of foods, and I love their hot foods. Not only that, but they carry health food for cats. I love the place.
post #16 of 16
Whenever I go any place I always make a beeline for hte nearest and largest supermarket, and love it. But really, when all is said and done I love coming back here where I buy my eggs, cheese, fruit and veggies in the open market, often from the people who actually grow the stuff. Eggs here taste so different from those I used to buy in the UK, and the tomatoes are to die for. I can't do that so much with meat and fish, though some of the producers do have stalls in the covered market. I can talk to them and they tell me when it was picked and from which area. We do have a couple of supermarkets and a cash-and-carry but nothing that would rival a medium sized shop in the US or Western Europe.
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