Monday, March 23, 2009

Bulk shopping at the supermarket

Do you buy food from the bulk bins at Whole Foods or one of its competitors? I bet you do. Certainly most vegans do – you just can’t get wheat berries, millet or TVP (textured vegetable protein) from your garden variety supermarket down the street. So there we go once a week or so, and it is quite the ordeal. I think the Whole Foods managers must be vying for a quarterly award for the most weirdly organized bulk food aisle. You’d think they’d divide it up in a somewhat sensible manner. Such as all vegan stuff to the left, and everything else to the right. Or maybe keep grains, nuts, beans, rice, dried fruits, candy & processed items in its own separate section. Forget it. They watch us through those ominous-looking domes in the ceiling, as we scurry around wasting precious minutes, trying to find the sesame seeds amongst the Medjool dates and the coconut rolls. Oh, and here’s the pumpkin seeds right in between the snappy ginger cookies and the crystallized ginger. That really makes sense. Thanks Whole Foods!

Then, if you can find a pen that works (good luck with that!), you do the little label thing, pay, leave and then put everything in containers as soon as you get back to the house. Or maybe not. I still have a few neatly sealed plastic baggies floating around here from circa 1999, with just a bin number written on them. Could that be chili powder or maybe garam masala? Who the hell knows! Problem is I am too worried about screwing up a recipe, to try to find out the hard way, which would be to go ahead and use some of the stuff. Does this look like mustard or could it be turmeric?

There are some things that I do not buy from the bulk section at Whole Foods. Such as peanut butter from one of those huge tubs. Why? Because I saw an unsupervised little girl drop something in there a while ago. Could have been a penny, could have been a popsicle. My guess? A previously owned piece of gum. The same little girl took a bite from a whole wheat fig bar, made a nasty face and put it back with the other unsold fig bars. Her mother was no doubt pre-occupied, trying to find the brown rice tucked away between the banana chips and the adzuki beans.

Running today was very good: a brisk 10-miles with Daisy, maintaining the pace at around 8:55/mile most of the time, despite very muggy conditions. Had to stop for Daisy to have some water a few times. I am definitely feeling a lot stronger than just 2 or 3 weeks ago. During these last 2 to 3 weeks I will step up the intensity on all my runs - other than the long run on Saturdays.


Minken said...

One time I saw something very similar and I brought it to the parent's attention and they could have cared less. Some parents just suck and most likely that girl watched her mom/dad do something similar like that before.

Laurel said...

That is so gross about the girl and the peanut butter. I never even noticed they sold peanut better out of a large tub like that. It doesn't sound like a good idea.

Denise said...

Oh my gosh...I'm so grossed out by the little girl dropping something in the bin. This is why I can pass up those m&m's that are sitting on the admins desk...someone before me probably didn't wash their hands before they stuck them in there to take a few. No thank you!

Vegan_Noodle said...

Haha! I have the same issues with the bulk bins!! I think they should alphabetize it.
And oh my you've scared me about the peanut butter!! That's the way I usually buy it....maybe I'll have to reconsider that one.