While I do tend to shy away from large, chain grocers in favor of small farm stands and meat shops, I can’t help but love Whole Foods. Yes, in some areas they’re very expensive, but they can also offer very low prices* once you know how to shop there (*this also makes the assumption that you’re set on going local, organic, pastured, etc – compare prices to other stores at that level). Also, to address the local vs. chain factor, my local Whole Foods does an admirable job of stocking meats, dairy and produce from local/organic farms.
Whole Foods offers an amazing selection of foods which elsewhere would be hard to find. And while I think the founder of the mega-chain is simply a silly-vegetarian, the local, Brighton Whole Foods meat counter has a huge selection of buffalo, grass-fed beef and lamb, bacon, sausages, suet and salted pork fat, as well as offal.
And one more reason to like Whole Foods (where I shop several times a week), is their recently new addition of the ANDI Score System. This scoring range between 0-1000 underlines of the key primal/paleo values: focus on eating nutrient dense foods (ratio of nutrients to calories). Leafy greens, of course, dominate the Top 10; (from WF’s site)
|1. Mustard/Turnip/Collard Greens||1000|
|4. Bok Choy/Baby Bok Choy||824|
|6. Broccoli Rabe||715|
|7. Chinese/Napa Cabbage||704|
|8. Brussels Sprouts||672|
|9. Swiss Chard||670|
This is not to say that you need to only stick with top 10/20 listed items, because other vegetables have essential vitamins and minerals which leafy greens don’t offer. It simply helps to make Americans aware that there are VERY important vegetables being ignored, which should be included far more often in our diet. Being primal isn’t about counting calories (I would barely know how), but rather avoiding empty calories found in starches, grains and sugars.
On this note, I made some steamed, then sauteed Swiss Green Chard this evening, and with a lot of garlic and a little lemon, this is one of my new favorite greens! Thanks Whole Foods.