If someone from the so-called “real” America walked into the Whole Foods at 14th and P in Dupont Circle, they would die. Or go grab their gun. It confirms every bad stereotype about the out-of-touch, East Coast liberal elite. From the hybrids and Lexus SUVs in the parking lot to the Obama, War is not the Answer and Coexist bumper stickers that decorate their yuppie vehicles.
Inside, they would be assaulted by $8 apples and fair-trade farro, shelves of strange, foreign-sounding foods, things like quinoa and kumqaut, and familiar foods that have been tortured into uneatability – tofurkey and vegan ice cream. Of course, there are the hordes of clueless, self-righteous hippies examining the labeling and ingredients, demanding that the oh-so patient staff tell them whether non-organic bread has been sliced using this machine. And jute, canvass and other recyclable bags, some proudly proclaiming “this bag was made from plastic.” All amid a great unwashed and unshavenness.
For me, waiting longer to get up to the parking lot than it takes to get my 14 items in the store is part of city living and the reality of food shopping in DC. Even with the farmer’s market and Peapod, you still need to brave the Whole Foods circus occasionally. $40 of yogurt, teas, potatoes and short ribs in a tote bag later, I’m relieved to be leaving the farce behind me.