Saturday, September 1, 2012

Honesty is always on sale at Whole Foods

Whole Foods Market names the New Jersey fishing port, the day boat and the captain who landed these sea scallops. "Dry" means no preservatives were added.

As someone who prefers fish over fowl, I always look over the seafood counter when I visit Whole Foods Market in Paramus.

Whole Foods doesn't sell live lobster, but remains tops when it comes to fresh seafood -- delivered seven days a week, much of it from its own processing facility.

This past Thursday, I got a kick out of the sign with local day-boat sea scallops -- naming the port, boat and even the captain.

These were big, U-10 scallops -- about 10 to the pound -- and were priced at $24.99 a pound. 

If you eat pork, what more do you need to know?

Opposite the butcher counter, the store advertised its naturally raised bacon with a sign painted on the floor in front of a refrigerated case.

This is the kind of honesty we should find at every food store and restaurant, but sadly Whole Foods is nearly alone in telling consumers where produce, meat and seafood come from and how they were raised, grown or caught.

We have to rely on the store or restaurant for this kind of information, because outside of Consumer  Reports magazine, few newspapers or other publications bother to report on the origin of the food we buy.

The so-called consumer columnist at my local daily newspaper doesn't even acknowledge the existence of organic food.

Pistachio-coated Sea Scallops at Palm Restaurant in Manhattan.

On Thursday, Whole Foods had organic California red grapes on sale for $2.29 a pound -- a discount of more than 30%. I bought 2.65 pounds.

I also picked up naturally raised beef liver for my wife, son and mother-in-law from the butcher counter's frozen meat case, priced at $3.99 a pound.

My daily grind

My first stop on Thursday was Fairway Market, also in Paramus, to replenish my stock of freshly ground coffee.

The Brazil Dark Roast was the only one on sale, for $6.99 a pound, so I asked for 2 pounds Turkish 

The selection of freshly roasted beans at Fairway Market in Paramus.

I also took advantage of a sale on those wonderful Campari hothouse tomatoes -- three 1-pound packages for $5 (not $3, as I wrote originally).

I love extra-virgin olive oil, but won't pay the $17 or $18 a liter for some of the better ones at Fairway.

Luckily, the store allows shoppers to sample the oils by soaking small pieces of baguette in them.

My guilty pleasure was taking four heels -- the ends of the bread -- and soaking them in expensive bright-  and dark-green olive oils. Delish.

Trader Joe's Organic Whole Wheat Pasta for breakfast.

Whole-wheat pasta

I've been eating whole-wheat pasta for breakfast, lunch and dinner since I gave up virtually all bread and pizza to lose weight.

The pasta, along with brown rice, gives me the same full, satisfied feeling I got from bread, but my body processes it better and I am still able to lose weight gradually.

Now, Consumer Reports magazine has given its "Very Good" rating and recommended organic whole-wheat spaghetti from Trader Joe's and Whole Foods Market.

The magazine's October 2012 issue, which I just got in the mail, calls both "sweet, nutty, whole-grain flavor, chewy texture much like regular pasta."

I've been buying Trader Joe's Organic Whole Wheat Spaghetti, Fusilli and Penne for more than a year. A 16-ounce package is $1.39.

Whole Foods sells organic whole-wheat spaghetti under the 365 Everyday Value brand, but it cost more than Trader Joe's version.

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