Boasting aisles and aisles of carefully curated, natural fine foods, Whole Foods is a health-conscious shopper’s paradise. For college students, however, it’s hard to enjoy a boutique-style shopping experience without breaking the bank (a $7 dollar box of crackers is rarely a justifiable purchase). Many chain grocers offer cheap alternatives to some of Whole Foods’ high-dollar items, but there are a few things that America’s favorite health food store truly does best. Here’s my list of the 8 foods that are worth it at Whole Foods.
With threats of shortages around the world, it’s a crucial time to make responsible decisions about where we get our chocolate. With their Whole Trade Guarantee, Whole Foods promises chocolate from socially- and environmentally-sound sources.
It’s always good to be aware of where the meat you eat comes from; all too often, we support brands that treat their animals poorly and give them hormones, excessive antibiotics, and other things we don’t even want to know about. Whole Foods requires Global Animal Partnership 5-Step Animal Welfare Ratings, so you never have to worry about the story behind your steak.
3. Good Pops
These sweet and refreshing boutique popsicles are hard to come by at regular grocery stores, but Whole Foods keeps a steady supply year round. Try Hibiscus Mint or Cold-Brew Coffee for a splurge-worthy treat.
We’ve searched high and low for tortillas without preservatives or artificial ingredients. Offering a wide variety of types and flavors from local vendors and even the in-house bakery, Whole Foods is one of the only places to meet that standard. For a flavor-filled taco, check out 365’s spinach tortilla.
5. Local Foods
One thing that sets Whole Foods apart from other large chain grocers is its relationship with local farmers and vendors. To support small businesses and enjoy the high quality that comes with homemade, small-batch products, try things like Chapsmackers’ Texas Slow Burnin’ Peppers.
A hidden gem within Whole Foods’ bulk section is their self-serve spice station (try saying that ten times fast!), which offers everything from sea salt to saffron. Rather than buying a $6 container of a spice you plan on using once, buy as little (or as much) as you’d like and hang on to your hard-earned cash.
Some stores pack their sushi with sodium and other unnecessary ingredients to feign freshness, but Whole Foods cuts their fish, which comes from certified sustainable fisheries, to order. Complete with a wide selection of rolls and Nigiri, the sushi station at Whole Foods is worth browsing.
8. Ready-Made Items
While they’re not guaranteed to be low-fat or low-calorie, Whole Foods’ prepared meals are always made sans artificial ingredients. From curried chicken salad to teriyaki salmon, Whole Foods’ ready-made items are convenient, delicious, and nutritious.