Whole Foods is the Enemy | Tarreyn Land: Whole Foods is the Enemy

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Whole Foods is the Enemy

I don't shop at Whole Foods. 
But the people I work for do. 
So I find myself going there a lot - searching the aisles for specialty Thai spices, organic Ghee (don't worry I didn't know what it was either), and whatever other ingredients I don't remember because I can't afford them.

And there hasn't been one time where I didn't come to the precipice of a mental breakdown. 

In a land where carnations cost $8, jars of fresh juice remind you that you need to detox, and the man running the organic cafeteria resembles your ethnically ambiguous middle school crush, it seems an appropriate place to have a crisis of self. 

Surrounded by designer kombucha and propaganda advertising 'Americas Healthiest Store', I begin to feel it - that dreaded of all things: Less Than
That feeling where even though you have everything you need and then some, you become consumed by the feeling that you might not.  

Whole foods makes me feel all of my insecurities at the same time. 

Everything overflows. 
Somewhere between the mangos and the macaroons I evolve into all my insecurities: poor, fat & misunderstood. 
Wearing the same pants I've worn every day for two months, (from Old fucking Navy), I spiral into a tornado of all my anxious sub-thoughts:

I can't afford that wine! 
I look disgusting! 
That iced coffee costs more than my cable bill! 
That woman twice my age looks better in Lululemon yoga pants than I ever have!
I'm never even going to be able to afford Lululemon yoga pants! 

You know. The usual. 

Sure. They might have the greatest paleo cole slaw ever imagined. And sure - I might try 5 samples of things every visit. And ok, they sell those fancy bread and butter pickles that I can't find anywhere else.
Let us not be fooled by their shiny appearance and designer chia seeds - they are evil. 

(These people are not average WF grocery shoppers. Or hikers. Or farmers. Or melon-eating goddesses. They are models. That girl's never held a chicken before in her life. These people are hired by casting agencies & CEO's to make us think that if we shop at their fucking store we will look like this. We won't.)

It's not just the perpetuation of idealized results from shopping there that's hard to swallow, it's basic, corporate bullshit. 
Based on my copious knowledge of cheap wine prices, they are overcharging by an average of 4 dollars a bottle. Thats like 2 entire bottles at Trader Joes. (Although I hear 2 Buck Chuck is made with animal blood so don't buy that.)
They train their employees to only know about their specific sections, so they basically are rendered useless and leave you wandering the aisles like a drunk child. 
The store is designed to make you think you need things that you never even knew existed. It's a lot like Sharper Image that way. (Sharper Image, I realize, is an outdated reference and something I will always associate with the karaoke scene in When Harry Met Sally).
It's a destructive place.
One that affects my psyche and sense of self. 

I guess this has nothing to do with Whole Foods and everything to do with me. 
If I didn't feel those things about myself somewhere deep inside, then a fancy grocery store wouldn't bring them out in me.
If I didn't carry with me a permanent sense of lingering guilt over how many beers I had yesterday or how I should be doing more, then a row of designer condiments wouldn't look like they were mocking me. 
But as it is, we all have that side to us. That seed of doubt that leaves us staring at a jar of literal or metaphorical vegan mayonnaise thinking why am I here? (Not in a big meta why am I on this planet way, but in a literal why am I at this place feeling this way way) 

Whatever your Whole Foods is, the thing that makes you feel less than, I urge you to ignore it. Nobody is less than anybody, including you and me. (Actually, I saw Beyoncé in person the other day and I'm pretty sure she is an actual goddess, but that's the exception, not the rule.) 

Buy the pickles, drink the wine, and go kick ass. 
That's what I'm gonna do anyway. 
(Right after I finish my bowl of paleo slaw.) 


  1. Your blog really cheers me up. I've had a bad week myself. All in one week I failed my masters program, I got fired, my boyfriend broke up with me, I'm in debt up to my eyeballs, and I have no idea what to do with my life!!!!

    1. I'm so sorry to hear about your rough week, that sounds like one for the books. I'm thrilled you enjoy the blog, please know that everyone is struggling and none of us know what to do with our lives! Thank you so much for sharing your comment, it brightens my day to be reminded that people care about what I'm putting out there. Chin up, I wish you lots more luck to come! Xoxo