Whole Foods

Whole Foods

Jul 24

In my quest of finding the best prices and seeing what stores offer what, I visited Whole Foods Market after work this week. As I expected, their selection was greater then my local Publix, and surprisingly their prices weren’t as bad as I thought. The brands of milk that both Publix and Whole Foods offer, the price was barely different. Where I was expecting a $.50 or more price increase for Whole Foods.

Now, Whole Foods offers their own brand of products called 365 Brand, and they have milk that is reasonably priced. However, from reading the package at the store and checking the website, all I could find was that the dairy cows for the 365 Brand foods were fed a 100% organic vegetarian diet, but not specifically grass-fed.

So I took a chance and called my local Whole Foods. I talked to a delightful gentleman who made sure he understood my question then admitted he didn’t know but would go check with the dairy manager. He returned to say that they could answer my question (I had told him I was skeptical they could) and that the cows are fed both grass and whole grains. So that helps a bit, but doesn’t rule out whole corn in their diet as filler. The man at Whole Foods did make a point to let me know that even though the 365 Brand wasn’t all grass fed cows, they did offer other brands of milk that were. (Sidenote: I also sent an email to corporate with my inquiry, so we’ll see if they respond with an answer like my local stores’.)

The most interesting (and sort of depressing) fact I found out at my trip to Whole Foods, was about cheese. I was looking specifically for a parmesano reggiano block cheese to be used for a pasta salad. I read the label and it said nothing. I then asked the cheese monger and she said that they cannot confirm that the animals were grass-fed. However she said that particular cheese I had in my hand was from Italy, and that traditionally they pasture feed their cows for cheese making. And as far as she knew that was how it was still done today, following the age-old traditional methods. I then asked if any of the cheeses were specifically labels or known to be pasture raised and she said no, that the import cheeses aren’t labeled like ours here. This was sort of saddening news but has prompted me to search for more information on European farming practices, do they not have the same cruelty issues we have and that’s why they don’t have to specify organic and grass-fed?

Overall, Whole foods was wonderful and since my new job is close to one store and John’s office is close to another one, we are both sure to visit often. Again I am working on the list of foods offered where and the price, and I’ll post that soon.


  1. Sara

    This seems like a good place to ask for further clarification as to why it’s bad for a cow to be fed organic grains or “whole kernel corn”.

    What are the negative effects on the cow for eating this and what impact does that have on the person eating it?

    If the are fed vegetarian and free range, how does the variance from the grass only diet impact the life cycle?

    PS – this is my lazy way of asking you to find the answers for me, if I do find them on my own I’ll be sure to share.

    • Actually, this is information that we really want to find, to back up our own theories. Although multiple credible sources plainly state that corn is a bad diet for a cow, I am still compiling a list of hard facts about why that is the case. Since I AM such a research nerd, I will most certainly get deep into the science of how cow’s digest food and anything else that may be relevant.

      As far as I know, the cow’s diet does not have any negative effects on the person eating it. The illnesses the cow gets as a result of its bad diet may be a different story. Also, the quality (nutritionally and taste) of the meat is much less per “unit.”

      More to come in the form of a post…

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