BEST HEALTH-FOOD STORE (2005)
Whole Foods Market
www.wholefoodsmarket.com Whole Foods Market doesn't just talk the talk, it walks the walk. For twenty years this national chain has been advocating and supporting organic agriculture, working with ranchers and producers to raise hormone and antibiotic-free animals, promoting products in reduced or reusable packaging, and encouraging shoppers to cut down on waste through their nickel-per-bag rebate program. Heck, PETA handed Whole Foods its Best Animal-Friendly Retailer award in recognition of the supermarket's Animal Compassion Foundation -- and for offering a wide selection of vegetarian and vegan foods. Wide might be an understatement, for there are thousands upon thousands of items and dozens and dozens of departments -- about anything you can find at Publix, you can find here, usually in healthier form. The prepared foods department boasts more than a hundred items made with natural ingredients. There's an excellent cheese section (inclusive of cheeses made with soy, rice, and other nondairy products), eclectic wines (many organic grape choices), and a great bakery that crafts European-style loaves with floury crusts, as well as cookies, cakes, and gluten-free baked goods. React badly to wheat and gluten? Check out the aisle of homeopathic and holistic remedies. We've talked the talk -- now you walk the walk.
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