Organic Consumers Association

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Can Whole Foods Coexist with the Homegrown Food Movement?

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's All About Organics page, Breaking The Chains page, and our Michigan News page.

A new Whole Foods recently broke ground in Detroit, but not everyone is excited.

Over the years my relationship with Whole Foods has evolved, along with my understanding of food justice and community. I shopped at Whole Foods seven years ago when I lived in Brooklyn, and when I lived in Oakland three years ago. It has often been a beacon of healthy food options when I am on the road in an unknown place.

Yes, it's too expensive for me, but it was always such a pleasurable experience to walk in, and have all this bright natural food there. I thought everything in the store was automatically healthier than anything I could get outside of the store.

Mind you, I wasn't into food justice or even personal food health then. I didn't have a dedication to small local health food stores, farmers markets and growers. I didn't have an intimate relationship with fruits and vegetables. I was so impressed with myself for shopping there, getting overpriced salads and frozen quiche and veggie entrees, sliced salami at the deli, looking tenderly at the produce area on my way to check out.

I learn through relationships, and I didn't have regular relationships with a lot of urban gardening folks, at least not with the young white folks who appeared to be the main folks in it. 

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