I rarely enter Target, and this week I was reminded of why. The store is a sea of processed food – it makes me realize why people say they can’t eat healthy. With that selection – you’re right! Easter egg-colored goldfish crackers on prominent display made me cringe. As I glanced down the dairy aisle – all I saw was processed cheese accented by white bagels — there was no color on the whole aisle except a little orange from American “cheese” and the red of bullseye packaging.
I went to Target originally for a quick contact lens purchase – pure convenience – and had a couple other things to pick up and didn’t want to make several trips. First on my list was oats. I navigated past the near aisle-long selection of Pop Tarts – who knew there were so many – to find oats. I had to look long and hard to find simple, plain old-fashioned oats – come to think of it – I didn’t find any. Just plain, quick oats would have to do. Most varieties were quick, sugared and many of them colored.
In the produce section, I was greeted by wilty and sad greens. Their organics exist, and don’t look too bad, but come at a premium I don’t even see at Whole Paycheck…the cost was outrageous. At least at Whole Foods, the environment makes you WANT to purchase fruits and veggies.
I’ll give Target credit, they did offer a few specialty products such as grass-fed Siggi’s yogurt and happy-cow Noosa yogurt, but both cost the same or (in the case of Noosa) more than they do at Whole Foods. I also found GT’s Kombucha, my current obsession, at a premium of $2.99 per bottle. Head to Natural Grocers and you’ll get it for $2.39-$2.69.
Perhaps it’s the lighting or perhaps it’s the tremendous amount of flimsy “stuff” that is all over the aisles that makes me uncomfortable with the store. Where will all those cheap blankets, chachkies and toys go when they’re out of style or used up (they can’t be of the best quality, so we know they won’t last forever)? How many landfills can we fill?
By no means do I think Whole Foods is perfect, but I feel better shopping there. I know not everything at Whole Foods is healthy. I know there is controversy over potential GMOs at Whole Foods (but that’s another story). I know not everything that Whole Foods does is best for the earth. I know it’s a big store with a CEO and wasteful spending. However, in my mind – it’s not the same as the bright lights and mass consumption that Target represents. Perhaps that’s my own naïveté, but if I’m going to leave a store dropping $100 for a small bag (oh, it happens at Target too – that store is no bargain), I’d rather feel like I’ve bought food and items that support good health and a sustainable planet rather than contributed to my and the earth’s destruction.