Five Reasons Whole Foods Is The Worst Place On Earth
Let's not bury the lede: Whole Foods sucks. It doesn't matter whether it's in Los Angeles, New Orleans, or Santa Fe, the entire place raises my blood pressure more than any other store on Earth (except for the Ladurée shop on the Champs-Élysées in Paris, which is easily avoided since macarons are one of the most overrated desserts on Earth).
Flickr user ilovemypit, via Creative Commons Inside lurks the most aggravating shopping experience in America--yes, even worse than Walmart on the day before deer season or Costco the day before Thanksgiving.
I go there, hate it though I do, for the shrinking list of things I like to eat that I can't get elsewhere (today's discovery: filmjölk at Mother's Market), and I'm reminded how much of a misfit I am in that store: a truck-driving, pro-gun, politically apathetic linebacker-sized guy in a sea of thin, liberal Prius drivers. I always feel like a bull in an organic, fair-trade china shop. After yet another shopping trip to the Tustin Whole Foods that left me drinking straight from the whiskey bottle after I got home, I decided to catalogue what bothers me most.
And yet, despite the fact that it makes my eyes roll so hard I briefly go blind, I still go back, because sometimes you can't get the stuff anywhere else. Damn you, Whole Foods.
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1. Traffic inside the store
I swear they set the stores up to cause maximum gridlock. On a normal day it's hard enough to get around the displays of eighteen kinds of marinated shrimp, the displays of gluten-free shampoos, and the displays of local baked goods at three times the price. The other day, I was trying to get from the organic, local, sustainable, help-we've-run-out-of-expensive-sounding-adjectives vegetable section to the probiotic, non-bovine, fermented dairy section and I am pretty sure the only reason I accomplished it was due to Brownian motion.
Flickr user bellissima_italia, via Creative Commons The ones with stairs are a special level of hell.
2. The parking lot
I'm pretty sure that half the problem in the awfulness that is any Whole Foods parking lot is caused by Prius drivers reading other Prius drivers' bumper stickers. Add to this that my local Whole Foods' parking lot was apparently designed by misanthropic and sexually frustrated engineering students whose next project was a first-person shooter called "Escape From Purgatory", and you've got a traffic snarl that would make a nun blaspheme. It's not just that one, either--the parking lot at the Glendale Whole Foods is like an incredibly slow drag strip for people whose Chevrolet Volts do 0-60 in 3.2 astrological sign changes, and the one near the 405 and 101 freeways features people who like to take their half of the road out of the middle. It's enough to drive anyone crazy.
Flickr user allen_goldblatt, via Creative Commons Priuses... or is it Prii... EVERYWHERE.