I do not shop in Whole Foods for a whole bunch of reasons.
Wait, though. I did shop in Whole Foods once, when I was planning to make blinis but couldn’t find buckwheat flour in any of my usual food places. It–the buckwheat flour shopping expedition to Whole Foods–was an alarming experience. Millions of feet of space, zillions of people wandering among one hundred apple varieties, tens of aisles which could possibly hold buckwheat flour, a befuddling number of exotic flours (what do people do with them?)…
Two notes. Note one: at some point, rather than go to Whole Foods, I actually bought some buckwheat itself and hand-ground it with a mortar and pestle into something looking vaguely like flour. It was a pain to do, but then proper blinis are exceptionally time-consuming anyway, so why not throw another hour into the process?
Second note: there are two couples in New York City to whom I long ago promised a blini feast but haven’t produced one. Yet. (Melissa and Marty, Nancy and Merv: I can’t really ask you to keep the faith but I can at least apologize, inform you that I have a canister full of genuine buckwheat flour and, thus, when a blini feast pops up in my mind, you’ll be invited immediately.)
Anyhow, I’m sure you all have heard the news that Whole Foods in New York has been accused of cheating its customers by shorting the amount of produce in their pre-wrapped packages. The accuser is New York’s Department of Consumer Affairs, whose inspectors bought and weighed 80 different items from eight NYC Whole Foods and found that “every label was inaccurate, with many overcharging consumers…”
Now the news is all over the place, and–of course–a class action lawsuit has been filed against Whole Foods in Bronx Supreme Court.
Whole Foods’ response is of course boilerplate but, in this case, unusually ineffective. As the Daily News quoted: “Whole Foods said it ‘never intentionally used deceptive practices to incorrectly charge customers.'”
Well, let’s analyze that statement. If, say, out of 80 packages purchased at eight different Whole Foods, eleven were found to be underweighed and overcharged, maybe that would be accidental. But when all those packages from different stores were falsely labeled and charged…nah. That’s not only intentional; it sounds like company policy.