I went out and did my grocery shopping today. I was bummed as I went around Wild Oats and realized that soon it would be swallowed up by Whole Foods. I realize that Boulder is home to Wild Oats, and that is probably why I like it so much. They do a wonderful job of buying local (and marking it so you can tell what you are buying!) while still keeping prices reasonable. Their sales are so much better than WF and their bulk section rocks. I have heard that this is not the case on the east coast, but here in Colorado, I think Wild Oats is way better.
To be fair, Vitamin Cottage beats them both up and down the block when it comes to prices (and they only stock organic!), but VC is a lot smaller and doesn’t offer the deli and butchering services that Wild Oats and Whole Foods offer, so it is harder for them to be competitive if you are an omnivore.
In The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Michael Pollan talks about how Whole Foods uses a big distribution chain for their produce which means that only a very small percentage is still from local farms. They fly produce around just like Safeway, and they are more than willing to sacrifice the local ideals in order to better industrialize their chain. That’s fine if they want to do it, but I’d rather have Wild Oats as a competitive option.
Then again, in some ways Whole Foods has it right. Their organic milk doesn’t come from Aurora, unlike Wild Oats. They also do a better job of luring in yuppies, which I suppose is a good thing. Whole Foods offers more “regular” products like Quaker Oats. I don’t know…
See, this is why I like being able to get the good things frome each store. Now that option is being taken from me :PÂ I realize this is all a part of capitalism, but it bums me out.Â I like having choices.Â I’m pouting.