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Unwholesome Whole Foodies: Shopping for Change


I enjoy walking around Whole Foods because it makes me progressive. I’m not talking about the neo-hippie, trash bag wearing wannabe crowd; I mean the real live stick-it-to-the-man type who doesn’t conform to middle-class fashion trends. So, if you’re looking for a radical weekend activity, grab your favorite Patagonia and head to Whole Foods for an afternoon of shopping among the sandalwood scented aisles.

As much fun as it is to walk around and pretend you’re a frequent Whole Foodie, though, there’s no point in going unless you actually buy something. Looking the part isn’t enough; you have to act it too. 

One time, I saw this girl standing in front of the wall of organically grown nuts. She was busy filling her own mini, burlap, cinch-top bag with everything between the pistachio dispenser and the macadamia station. She was wearing acid-washed mom jeans with dark, thick-rimmed, square-framed glasses and her fine, reddish-brown hair was pulled back tightly into a low ponytail. I stared at her for a solid two minutes, after which I still couldn’t decide whether she was twenty-three or forty-five.  So far so good. 


Then, I noticed the bag she was using had the “Dannon Soybean” logo dyed onto the fabric of either side. Given her clear concern for food quality—I mean, she was shopping here— she should have known that mixing organic and inorganic brands blatantly violates the Whole Foods produce-handling policy.

For the Safeway shoppers out there, soybeans are the second highest grossing genetically modified crop. By shopping carelessly enough to use an old soybean sack to store her nuts, she was basically invoking Monsanto’s minions right there in the middle of the non-meat protein section.

GMOs are bad. Like, really bad. They’re unnatural and inorganic.  I swear one of these days the world is going to wake up with three eyes and a tail. Pundits from Fox to Grist all insist there’s no conclusive evidence that GMOs pose long-term health risks, but just look at public education. It’s no wonder these poor kids keep failing out of school when all they eat is laboratory food. All families should just go the organic juice cleanse route. It’s affordable, and would definitely be better than polluting their bodies with freaky chemicals.

One day, when I was bored in class, I read this Buzzfeed article about a new laboratory crop called, “golden rice.” It’s horrifc. I refuse to understand why people don’t plant their own kale or quinoa or something so they can have a more balanced diet. But no, it falls to the rest of the world to save some lazy segment of the population. It only takes one far-away person to carelessly throw around a term like “terrible famine” or “year-long draught” or “world hunger” and presto: it becomes everyone else’s problem to fix. Scientists actually had to infuse the vitamin A found in carrots into white rice resulting in the synthetic golden crop, just to feed people. 

What I don’t understand though, is why these people can’t just up and move if the land is no good. I mean, take a hint. Things aren’t going to get any better if you just sit around. Take action! Relocate, rather than complain while expecting others to do the dirty work and violate perfectly good rice. Moving these days really isn’t even that hard. The toughest part is finding a reliable moving company who won’t ‘lose’ any family heirlooms. 

Sure, golden rice has saved countless lives and prevented thousands more from going blind from malnutrition. But so many people refuse to acknowledge the fact that this horrific GMO problem could have been avoided in the first place if people in countries like Africa had just adapted—branched out and shopped organically like me. 

You hear about these impoverished people in developing countries like Africa every day. That Alyssa Milano commercial with all the starving children is the worst. All I ever hear anymore when that thing comes on is twenty-five cents a day, twenty-five cents a day. But that’s what I’ve been trying to tell them— it only takes basically twenty-five cents to scrap the GMO crops and buy juice blender.

People get all this publicity. But, livestock doesn’t even have a voice and I think it’s even more important that people are informed of their daily maltreatment. Fluffy and Mr. Whiskers are put on a pedestal while innocent cows and chickens are shipped off to the slaughterhouse. I don’t understand how people can be so speciesist. Everyone’s a hypocrite. 

Like this one time, near the poultry section, there was a colorful, tribally decorated table set up with a sign across the front reading, “Investing in a Future Without Poverty.” I really think that if you’re going to promote a cause in front of the meat and poultry department, it should be an animal rights campaign. It sickens me that more people don’t make a concerted effort to end the mass slaughter of animals when texturized vegetable protein is really cheap. For as little as an additional twenty-five cents more per balanced meal, you could save countless innocent lives. I’m sure we can all agree that life is a cause worth supporting.


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