Thursday, May 12, 2005

It's Wholesome

I picked up lunch today at the Whole Foods Market. Apparently these supermarkets are popping up all over the place, spurred on by whatever new organic, macrobiotic, vegan, raw food diet eating trends the Hollywood glamourati are forcing down the rest of our throats. In case you're still maintaining the cultural status quo — as opposed to the counter-cultural status quo — and you've never felt the need to shop at Whole Foods, I'll describe the place in a self-loathing, contemptuous manner.

Whole Foods sells pesticide-free vegetables and hormone-free beef and fair-trade coffee beans. Just about everything in the store has some sort of Gen-Y Green Party new age earth-friendly pseudo-spiritual modifier in its name, so they carry organic milk and skim milk and Moby's Vegan Hipster Soy Milk (no actual milk products in Milk), but go somewhere else if you want a plain old gallon of two-percent with a line drawing of a cow on the carton. You can pick up a Yoga International or Fit Pregnancy magazine at Whole Foods. And eat it probably, too. Basically, Whole Foods is the kind of place that gives liberals a bad name. Remember those sushi-eating, latte-drinking, gay-marrying, tax-and-spend liberals those old folks from Iowa bitched about in that commercial during the Democratic primaries? No, of course you don't. But those sushi-eating, latte-drinking, gay-marrying social progressives are exactly Whole Foods' target market.

That being said, I actually like Whole Foods, and I think most of their customers like it for the same reason I do: it's just another option. When I want Hostess Ding Dongs, I'll go to Stop & Shop; when I want a Hostess Ding Dong-like product made without economically exploiting the native people of Uruguay, I'll go to Whole Foods. Yes, I'm sure no one is solely used a means to an end at the utopia that is Whole Foods. So there's another reason to shop at Whole Foods: less capitalist guilt. I'm sure the cashiers at Whole Foods smile like crazy because their job is life fulfilling and they're paid really well, and not because they smoke pot every day before and after work or they're fantasizing about gunning down every person who walks into the store with a rolled-up non-stick yoga mat in a yoga-mat carrying case over their shoulder.

So I'm in Whole Foods today, and remembering that this is a place whose mission statement includes promoting sustainable agriculture and educating their customers about natural foods, what music do you think they have playing over the P.A. system? Enigma? Debussy? Enya?

No. "What A Girl Wants." Christina Freaking Aguilera! Granted, it's a song from before the days Christina perfected the art of being a skanky whore, but still... I have a CD of Gregorian chant if the management at Whole Foods wants to borrow it.