I am currently in Austin, Texas attending the PaleoF(x) Conference being held at the University of Texas. I am having such a great time and enjoying meeting many of the movers and shakers of the Paleo movement which has much in common with the nutritional principles of Dr. Weston A. Price.
I had the pleasure this morning of reconnecting with Nora Gedgaudas, author of the book Primal Body, Primal Mind since first meeting her at Wise Traditions 2010 in Philadelphia. Nora is one of my favorite leaders in the Paleo movement and hands down one of the most interesting people I’ve ever met. I could listen to Nora for 2 weeks straight and never get bored. She is one fascinating, ultra intelligent lady.
I can’t wait to listen to Nora’s talk tomorrow. She told me that she has quite a bit of new information to share since her 2010 talk that I summarized in a post not too long ago called Depression: Your Brain on Sugar. Her talk tomorrow will no doubt be a highlight of the Conference for me. I’m sure I will be writing a post or two about it in the not too distant future.
This afternoon, I participated on a panel exploring ideas in Ancestral Nutrition for Babies, Tots, and Children. Paleo Moms and Dads really get how to feed their children right, although the emphasis on sacred foods from the research of Dr. Price proved very intriguing for many in the audience who stopped by the Weston A. Price booth in the vendor area to seek more information on the subject.
After the sessions closed for the day, I went out to dinner with Kristen of Food Renegade who happens to live here in Austin. Kristen is a fellow Real Food Media blogger and we had a super time at Kerbey Lane Cafe, a chain of Austin based restaurants that focuses on sourcing its ingredients locally.
Kristen and I shared Kerbey Queso which is guacamole covered with queso and topped with pico de gallo and then dug into Greek herbed lamb burgers wrapped in grilled pita bread with tomatoes, onions, feta cheese and tzatziki sauce. I’m actually chowing down on the leftovers right now as I type this. It was so delicious I just had to doggy bag for later what I couldn’t finish in the restaurant.
Toward the end of our meal of talking and giggling about blogging and kids, Kristen casually mentioned that she had seen my post on Whole Foods from a couple days before and would I like to go see the Whole Foods Mothership (yes, these are Kristen’s exact words).
You see, Austin is coincidentally the headquarters of Whole Foods. So, Kristen and I pile into her car and drive over to check it out. I must admit that I was indeed impressed at the sight. The original Whole Foods grocery store is intertwined with the Whole Foods Corporate Headquarters in one gargantuan mega complex spanning an entire city block in both directions.
Standing in awe on the sidewalk taking in this impressive view, there seemed to me to be no doubt that Whole Foods is indeed another Walmart in the making.
Only time will tell for sure, but as of now, the Mothership clearly has the upper hand over farmers markets and local businesses.
More on PALEOf(x) in the coming days!
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
I am curious about your opinion of the physical appearance of the attendees at PaleoF(x).
I dunno, if it wasn’t for Whole Foods and the farmers market they put on in their parking lot on Tuesdays I wouldn’t have known about several local farms that sell grass-fed beef and lamb and pastured eggs.
From what I can gather Whole Foods is pretty intouch with their customers. If the Whole Foods in your area doesn’t have something you like there is a good chance that it isn’t in high demand in your community.
Not so, according to this blogger. The Healthy Home Economist would have you believe your Whole Foods is only providing you with local foods for nefarious purposes. In fact, you can’t possibly even know that those foods are what it is claimed they are. They could be genetically modified cloned alien species from a government owned subsidiary of Monsanto, in underground China. Or they could just be yummy organic pastured meats from your local farm, but since it’s all a scam, who knows?
Mountain Evan Chang via Facebook
I really wish I saw this before leaving Austin! Would’ve been awesome to check out Lick Ice Cream and the Whole Foods mothership.
After reading your blog for awhile it seems to me that you’ve some sort of an axe to grind that’s focused on the symptoms as opposed to the root cause. Whole Foods can certainly be implored to do better but they’re not at the top of the pyramid of the industrial food complex. Your previous post came off rather flippant and insulting to your readership. I’ll be removing this site from my feed reader.
There is nothing whatsoever insulting about that post. It simply outlines why I won’t shop at Whole Foods. I am glad I wrote that post. It was an important issue to address. I would write it again in a heartbeat!
I would suggest that more people will stop shopping at Whole Foods in the coming months and years for the same reasons I outline. I think I am on the cusp of a trend of avoiding Whole Foods to tell you the truth.
I don’t know, I think Adam’s right on this one. We like the info on your blog, but my wife stopped reading your stuff. She said she’d need a rude-ness filter to tolerate it, and she doesn’t even like Whole Foods. I’m not sure your quite on the cusp of the trend you think you are.
If you can’t find a particular item at the farmers’ market, just ask a few farmers if they are willing to grow it. As a farmer, I am always interested in what my customers are looking for. It may take a while to source the inputs to grow what they need, but I’m usually willing to try if I think others have a similar need and I can make it cash flow. Also, if you are short on money, you can always ask about working for the farmer. Most are willing to trade labor for food and you’ll get up and personal with your food. Lastly, we don’t have WF here, we have Natural Grocers. It’s a national chain and they don’t buy locally. I watched their feel good video about how their turkeys are raised and could spot several shortcomings compared to my birds. I was told that they wouldn’t be interested in my birds, no matter if they were better, that’s not corporate policy. I wonder if their customers know that? One last thing, chain stores often make the farmers carry outlandish ammounts of liability insurance, this automatically discourages the smaller farmers without them having to directly say no.
I so wish I was there with you! Can’t wait to hear more.
I am really interested in hearing about your panel discussion: Ancestral Nutrition for Babies, Tots, and Children. As a mom of a 15 mos old, I was wondering if there are any books out there that zero down on this specifically.
The session was taped so you probably can get the DVD. Here’s the link: http://www.paleofx.com/schedule/
I don’t know how the Whole Foods stores are in other states but the ones near me are nothing more than glorified Walmarts. They have two things I get at my other local health food store (Vitamin Cottage,) deionized water (they have a machine) and my favorite butter (although I could get the butter online and no it isn’t kerrygold.) I went there yesterday for my water (that I get in glass jugs) and asked the meat man if there was any grass-fed grass-finished organ meat in the store. Not only was there no grass-fed organs there were no flipping organ meat at all. And they don’t carry any grass-fed, grass-finished meats. Most of their fresh seafood is farmed. During the holidays last year, they had “soy to the world signs” everywhere. Again, WF in different states may offer better goods. And I take back my statement about WF being nothing more than glorified Walmarts; they are worse. At least when you go to Walmart you expect to buy crap.
Wow that’s such a shame! I wonder why that is? I’ve lived in three different states and none of my local Whole Foods have resembled any Walmart I’ve ever been in at all. Weird. The one near my current home is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. So much local and regional WAPF friendly stuff to choose from. They often have little samplings of the from the local companies on the weekends, so it’s fun to try new stuff. Only local “health food stores” I’ve found around here mostly sell vitamins (for a lot of $$$!). We also have great farms, farmers markets, etc, and they generally get my money first, but our Whole Foods is awesome.