If I Die in This Whole Foods Parking Lot: A Letter to My Family
A shopper’s final thoughts as he circles a Whole Foods parking lot
September 19, 2016 By Joe Donatelli, Senior Writer at Los Angeles magazine
If I die in this Whole Foods parking lot, please tell my family I love them. Tell them I tried. There were just too many cars and not enough humanity. If you find this note, tell my wife and children I thought of them and wish I had never stopped off to buy “fresh from frozen” jumbo shrimp and those really delicious grilled artichoke hearts that are vacuum-sealed and sold near the edible flowers. They only sell those artichokes at Whole Foods. And now my children have no father.
My day went something like this.
I left the house at 2 p.m. on a Tuesday operating under the misguided assumption that the middle of the day in the middle of the week would be a good time “to just get a few things.”
Target went relatively smoothly. I purchased a variety of Honest cleaning products for my wife. I also picked up a 24-pack of tissues that will live in my trunk, a box of Pilot pens, and one Adirondack Folding Patio Accent Table. We don’t have a patio.
From there it was onto Ralph’s to buy all the chemical-rich cleaning products we’ll actually use to clean the house after the organic products fail, and Diet Coke, because they don’t have it at…
Trader Joe’s, where I picked up those new roasted sweet potatoes in the lettuce section (geniuses), and I got that really good pineapple salsa any sane person would happily drink, and a variety of “natural” frozen meals that are more calorific than Taco Bell.
Like, I said, just a few things.
Finally, on the way home, I stopped at Whole Foods.
I hadn’t even planned to go. And perhaps this was my mistake—a lesson that can be passed onto the survivors. Whole Foods is something you need to plan—like a snowshoe to the South Pole or climbing Everest. Whole Foods is not a store to patronize on a whim. Whole Foods is not an object of fancy. Whole Foods is not a lark.
I’ve been in this parking lot for days now—none of us moving, none of us parking—so I’ve had time to contemplate what a Whole Foods is.
At first glance, Whole Foods is a planning failure. The parking lot is always designed as if this glorious cornucopia of capitalist abundance and social signaling is an average grocery store—a thing to speed through as quickly as possible. But one does not speed through Whole Foods. One luxuriates in its variety, its class, its health and its freshness. It’s a place to ponder the wonderful possibilities of Smart Bacon and strike up conversation with strangers about the merits of biodynamic herbal tonics. Zoning commissions of America—if a supermarket offers more than seven types of washed-rind cheeses, you must triple the minimum number of parking spaces, because I gotta check out those washed-rind cheeses.
But if you simply view Whole Foods as a failure of government and private enterprise to plan, you miss the bigger point. There is a psychology to it. A Whole Foods parking lot is a challenge. A moat. A crucible. The Whole Foods parking lot experience rewards patience. It nods to inner resolve. It requires an eagle eye. All of which—and this is the beauty—will benefit you inside of Whole Foods as you wait 12 people deep to sample blueberry-pancake flavored pork sausage or spot the last of the white alba truffles on sale.
You must be worthy of Whole Foods to enter Whole Foods.
Into this trial of grit—this parking lot of the damned—I drove, because I had a desire for crustaceans that did not originate from an industrial aqua-farm in the Arizona desert. “Whole Foods,” I thought. “I’ll breeze in and out.”
My hubris was my downfall.
It’s 4 a.m. I long ago finished all of the food and drink in the car. My phone is dead. I am writing this on a piece of paper. The car is out of gas from driving around looking for a place to park. Not that it matters. I am boxed in by Range Rovers and Priuses, all of them immobile. I fear leaving my vehicle, lest I fall victim to the roving gangs of stroller-moms and Crossfitters.
I take full responsibility. I accept my fault. I angered the Whole Foods gods with my nonchalance, my thinking I could “just pop in and out,” and I have paid the ultimate price. You can’t just pop in and out of Whole Foods.
Mark my words. If for some reason I survive this nightmarish ordeal and escape this parking lot alive, I am never, ever coming back. For like a week, minimum.
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We found this article very interesting from The Alternative Daily
Detox Your Liver with Artichokes
Besides being delicious, artichokes contain a wide array of nutrients. One of their most notable benefits, known to numerous cultures for hundreds of years, is their ability to cleanse the liver and purify the blood.
While this is no secret in traditional remedies, modern science is just recently catching up to the knowledge that artichokes can indeed be highly beneficial to the liver.
Researchers have attributed the liver-cleansing properties of artichokes most especially to two phytonutrients: cynarin and silymarin. Cynarin is an antioxidant compound which aids the liver in producing bile.
Bile is important for the digestion of fats, as well as for flushing toxins out of the body. Silymarin is a flavonoid that aids in the protection of liver cells and cell membranes. Both of these compounds help to regenerate liver cells.
Artichokes also benefit the liver by protecting it against hepatotoxicity (liver toxicity), and the detrimental effects of alcohol, processed foods and other pollutants. This is not to say that eating artichokes means that you’re free to eat all the junk food you want, or drink an excess of alcohol. However, if you have lived a less-than-healthy lifestyle and want to make a fresh, healthy start, artichokes can be an integral part of a liver detox plan.
The heirloom artichokes are back with the spring growing season. Monterey Farms is proud to source all of its artichokes from Monterey County and this time of year the majority of our artichokes are grown from rootstock dating back to 1924.
The heirloom artichoke variety is a perennial plant that grows from original rootstock. The formal classification of an heirloom fresh fruit or vegetable is any distinct variety that grows and has been in trade for more than 50 years using the same lineage. March marks the beginning of peak heirloom artichoke season.
The heirloom variety, or Globe artichoke, has a long growing season which produces a large and meaty heart. The leaves have abundant meat and a sweetness to the taste. At Monterey Farms we are proud to use heirloom Globe Artichokes for our ArtiHearts.
Celebrate the coming of spring with California’s official vegetable, artichokes, prepared for you by Monterey Farms. ArtiHearts, the easiest and most delicious way to eat artichokes!