My friend Natascha keeps insisting there are good deals at that premium natural and organic supermarket monopoly - Whole Foods. There may well be calls for my arrest if I say this, but I’m going to say it anyway – I’m not a big fan.
Call me crazy but I think it’s a bit much the way Libertarian CEO John Mackey and his team of marketeers attempt to make me feel like I’m saving the world by simply shopping there, while they’re really engaging in same old hostile acquisitions and union busting tactics as say, Wal-Mart, for example.
I find it irritating. I’ve even had self-described progressives try to make me feel guilty for shopping at Ralphs. It’s laughable really when you think of the black hat tactics Mackey engaged in to get his hands on Wild Oats, among many others. Even the Bush administration put up resistance to that merger!
But the biggest reason I seldom darken the door of that venerable retail chain is because I find their shelves to be lacking in deals. I used to get a few things here, but since the inception of the biggest economic downturn in my lifetime and possibly in history, forget it. I’ve been far more likely to be found at the 99 (Per)Cent Store, where, in fact, they often offer great deals on organic items.
Still, Natascha knows a good deal when she sees one. The thing that finally got my attention? She got a jar’s worth of oregano for 33 cents. That’s right, folks - 33 cents. When she mentioned this figure, I knew I would have to psyche myself up to brave the mobs of hipsters and the impossible parking lot and head on over to check out this incredible deal.
I have to admit, I was pretty impressed.
Whole Foods has a sizeable bulk section these days – noticeably larger than it was before the downturn. In this section, you can purchase all manner of dry goods. They’ve got every kind of nut, grain or bean you can think of. They’ve got dried fruits, seeds and various other snacks too. Some of it is really delectable stuff like maple coated pecans and almonds – yogurt covered papaya.
The best deal I saw on these items was on organic chickpeas, a.k.a. garbanzo beans, for $1.99 a pound.
The incredible deal is on herbs and spices for cooking. Standing in this section, I almost feel like I’m at Oleson’s Mercantile on Little House on the Prairie. The jars are all lined up so neat and pretty.
Here, I can get enough cayenne pepper to fill a typical 1.5 oz. jar for only $1.41. Can’t beat that as far as I know. I guess Whole Foods is conforming to these hard times after all – at least when it comes to spicing things up!
As a post script, please note that I’ve called around Los Angeles and found only the stores listed below as offering this stunning deal on herbs and spices in bulk. They’ve pulled the bulk spices in Torrance, A team member at the West Hollywood location is trying to get them. My advice? Call ahead. Seems like this is an experiment any store could ditch at any time. Drop a line and let me know if you find another store that offers it!
NEED TO KNOW:
Whole Foods Market
Herbs and Spices in the Bulk Foods Section
6350 West Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90036 (map)
3751 E. Foothill, Pasadena, CA (map)
1050 Gayley Avenue, Westwood Village, CA (map)
Phone: 310- 824-0858
18700 Ventura Blvd. #190, Tarzana, CA (map)
(Website with Store Locator)
(Jennifer Caldwell is a an actress and an active member of SAG-AFTRA, serving on several committees. She is a published author of short stories and news articles and is a featured contributor to CityWatch. Her column at www.RecessionCafe.wordpress.com is dishing up good deals, recipes and food for thought. Jennifer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jennifercald - Twitter: @CheckingTheGate)
Vol 10 Issue 76
Pub: Sept 21, 2012