I took a half hour to browse the entire store at my local Whole Foods last night. I was just curious what they had, where, and what was in it. I found two things to be 100% true:
#1 – There’s a really good reason why Whole Foods is often called “Whole Paycheck.” They have high-quality stuff, certainly, but their prices are STEEP. I’ve determined that, generally speaking, I can find everything elsewhere for cheaper. That said, they do a good job of having lots of options for gluten-free folks. More than anyplace I’ve seen in San Diego at least. It would be more exciting for me if there were more options that left out the gums, though… So maybe that’s why I feel like it might not be worth the pocketbook pain!
#2 – There are a ton of people who need to eat gluten free. I met a lady while I was browsing. She and her 10-year-old both have Celiac. There were two other ladies I ran into repeatedly (they have the GF products spread out in several different places and we kept seeing each other throughout the store and nodding). A couple was obviously trying to make their way through the GF cake mixes. There was another lady who was taking out every GF product in the freezer section to inspect it (as I did, actually… soooo many gums!). The point is that in such a short amount of time I ran into a ton of people just browsing for GF products. This doesn’t count the people who simply have cut grains out of their lives due to gluten intolerance. Or people who don’t want to shop at a place that has the nickname “Whole Paycheck” (actually, count me in to that group, for the most part, too! I was totally shell-shocked at my bill!). Trader Joe’s and Sprouts are full of GF products, and almost every time I go I run into people trying to navigate the flours. Even at the grocery store I’m seeing tons of GF products popping up, and there’s always one person or another checking them out.
My point is that we’re everywhere. People who can’t tolerate gluten. People who can’t eat wheat. Until it’s clear that you’re one of those people, it’s not nearly as obvious. But now? I’m seeing gluten intolerance everywhere. I just wish that there was more gum-free food available… But one can only hope!