Going to Whole Foods is practically like breathing and doing yoga for millennials and 30-somethings, especially now that we’re all so focused on living healthy lifestyles. Whatever that means for you, it’s likely that you’ve found yourself muttering swear words to yourself in the middle of the nut butter aisle when you aren’t able to find the raw organic gluten-free cacao-almond butter that is absolutely essential for your GOOP cleanse du jour. Put simply, we're drawn to Whole Foods' shiny, organic allure like moths to a flame.
There is a certain etiquette that exists at everyone’s favorite organic grocery, though it may not seem like it when the rude assholes in Lululemon yoga pants harsh your mellow while you’re browsing for yogi-blessed teas and expensive supplements. When you’re shopping at Whole Foods, please avoid doing any of these 10 things that will immediately make everyone in the store hate you. That is, of course, unless you’re actually trying to be an epic granola-buying douche.
1. Walk slowly
Everyone is in a hurry these days, and that is especially true in Whole Foods. If you’re a regular shopper, you know that time is money in this place. Meaning that every extraneous minute inside those reclaimed redwood doors is going to cost you at least five bucks in organic kale. If you’re dawdling down the produce aisle or spending too long in front of those sixty varieties of pasta, don’t get mad at me when I bring down the hammer in pursuit of my whole-wheat orecchiette.
2. Hoard the samples
If you’re at Whole Foods on a weekend, you’re either a masochist or you're making a lunch out of the samples they’ve got spread out all over the store. It’s totally acceptable to make a third (or fourth) pass at the imported cheese, but no one wants to watch you fill your hemp-lined pockets with all those fruit samples. Save some for the rest of us just like those corporate hippies in charge intended. Sharing is caring, man.
3. Allow your child to shop for you
Children are wonderful, beautiful creatures up until the exact moment they are placed in charge of one of those tiny shopping carts at Whole Foods. I understand that you’d rather wander around the store with a glass of wine and pretend that your child is actually the well-behaved angel you’ve invented in your head, but we’d all be happier if they didn’t run down the aisles like banshees in search of fruity squeeze packs and recycled toilet paper.
4. Be overly serious about what is and isn’t organic
We get it. You have wholly committed to your paleo lifestyle, but give it a rest. A bunch of non-organic parsley isn’t going to poison your delicate biosystem, and there’s no amount of badgering that’s going to make a confused and overworked employee give a shit about your first-world struggle. This may be the place to blow your paycheck while improving your diet, but don’t make the rest of us suffer as you schlep up the hill of clean eating.
5. Hog the compact car and hybrid spaces.
Your SUV is convenient in the suburbs, but the Whole Foods parking lot is a whole different environment. The folks who designed Whole Foods know that their crowds are going to be full of Prius and Smart Car drivers, so they’ve designed their parking lots as such. Wedging your enormous SUV into a compact car space should honestly be a criminal offense, especially if it happens to be one of those reserved for pregnant people. You jerk.
6. Give unsolicited diet advice
This is actually, honestly a thing that happens in Whole Foods stores. Some chipper foodie in a gingham shirt (I have found this to be true regardless of gender) is constantly gushing to you in the yogurt aisle about how giving up dairy has really transformed her skin when you’re in the middle of a PMS breakout. No one wants to hear your thoughts on their faces or the foods in their shopping cart, so zip it and move your judgmental ass along to the next aisle.
7. End up in the Express lane with too much crap
Sure, this is a common complaint at all grocery stores, but it is no more true anywhere than at Whole Foods. Unlike your usual run to Publix or Kroger that involves a box of tampons, a block of Velveeta cheese, and some random junk you fished out of a clearance bin, the express lane at Whole Foods is only for people who have, at most, 10 items. No fudging it here – wait in a slightly longer line with all your produce and natural meats. It’s only humane to let those poor cubicle jockeys and stressed-out soccer moms take their provisions with haste.
8. Steal out of the bulk bins with your hands
I’m not telling you which petty crimes you shouldn’t commit, but please do not stick your hand up under the almond dispenser and take a few for the road. I appreciate your industriousness (or serious lack of impulse control), but please do not contaminate my dry goods with your own personal cocktail of bacteria. I do not know how often you wash your hands, and that concerns me enough to suggest that we all stay away from this source of “free” food. It’s that serious.
9. Judge people’s yoga pants
There are some among us who have not yet seen the light that yoga pants have brought to our humble planet. Despite being criticized for being too tight, too casual, and/or too sloppy, yoga pants are basically considered the official uniform of your average Whole Foods shopper. Still, haters persist and insist that everyone wear actual pants to the grocery store and judge those of us who refuse. Down with pants, and your snotty attitude about other people’s clothing choices.
10. Forget that you’re only just pretending to be a healthy eater
Underneath all those chia seeds and Lululemon, there is a chips and queso lover that is longing to burst outside of your perfectly-toned Bikram yoga body. Most people don’t have the dedication to actually be serious about eating organic food or following strict gluten-free rules, but that doesn’t keep us from trying occasionally after we see an interesting recipe on Pinterest. Life is all about balance, and sometimes that means washing down your late-night takeout with expensive kombucha and coconut water.