Self-deprecating humor’s sometimes a good thing, right? After the ridiculous experience I just had while leaving Whole Foods Market, I thought I’d let you all have a little laugh at my expense.

OK so let’s talk about those tiny shopping carts.

I don’t know the exact reasoning behind small shopping carts at Whole Foods and other healthy food stores. Is it so they can fit between those tiny aisles in the smaller stores? Is it because they are taking a political stand against anything that could be considered supersized?

Or is it as simple as the fact that they don’t want you to have enough room to stock up on everything and shop only once a week? If you can’t fit everything in one shopping trip, you have to come back another time, and every time you come back there is potential that you will impulse shop; because let’s admit it, we all get lured in by those delectable little samples they so “graciously” offer.

Please don’t get me wrong…

I love Whole Foods Market. Even though many of the healthy foodies and purists out there condemn them for being so “commercial”, I give a lot of credit to them and other larger health food stores like them for helping to bring organic foods, certain whole grains, seasonings, and other not-so-familiar-to-our-culture foods into the mainstream. But seriously, people. The carts.

This kind of thing only happens in slapstick comedies and cartoons…

…or to me and my 4-year old apparently. We were running errands near Whole Foods and figured we’d stop by and grab a few things before we had to leave to get my older daughter from school. We parked, got our tiny cart (my daughter rode in the top), and were able to grab what we needed and find a check-out line with no line in 10 minutes flat. Of course in that 10 minutes I managed to accumulate too much stuff to fit into our tiny cart, so one bag had to go on the rack underneath. And since I only had two reusable bags in the car, I did have to use two paper bags to fit all of my groceries, one of which was on that bottom rack.

Even though we got in and out of the actual store quite quickly, we were still in a big hurry so we rushed through the parking lot to get the stuff to the car.


What happened next was kind of in slow motion. I’m hustling to get to the car. All of a sudden I hear the paper bag down below the cart start to tear. I held the top of cart with one hand and reached for the bag with the other, just as the bag tore completely open and the contents tumbled out. In this bag was a big mesh bag of organic lemons. Of course that bag broke as it fell out of the paper bag and the lemons scattered all around my feet. Well they might as well have been marbles because I tripped and I went down. Hard. Face first.

That tiny cart holding my daughter and my other groceries took off down the parking lot (aren’t parking lots supposed to be LEVEL?). Well luckily the cart didn’t go far because it crashed into a car (thankfully it didn’t get damaged!) but my poor daughter was screaming and I was trying to make sure she was OK, get myself off the ground, and locate my groceries that had rolled under other parked cars.

Healthy people to the rescue!

All of a sudden, I hear three kind voices from three different directions saying “are you OK?” and “let me help you” and “everything’s fine”. One person helped me up and helped me get to my daughter, another dropped her own bags and scrambled around on the ground to locate my runaway groceries, and the other helped me load my groceries into my car. They did not leave my side until they saw that we were OK and good to go.

Now thankfully I have not had an episode like this in any other parking lot to compare how conventional and processed food-eating shoppers would react to my debacle, but I have to say that thank goodness it happened in a healthy food store parking lot (if it had to happen at all) where the majority of the shoppers are happy, full of energy, and able-bodied. I’m not saying that shoppers of other stores would not have tried to help me, but would they have been able to help me so quickly and in such chipper moods? In my experience, possibly not.

Healthy food store shoppers get poked fun at and are stereotyped often as being overly perky and full of energy, but really there is nothing wrong with that. Maybe if more people started eating fresh organic real foods, whole grains, and other ingredients that you only see at healthy food stores (or on Chopped); there would be less tired and grumpy people in the world.

So to the kind and gentle souls who helped me and my daughter today at Whole Foods Market: thank you from the bottom of my heart. Rest assured that you have some good karma coming your way. And to Whole Foods Market: love you lots, but seriously. Get bigger carts so we can avoid absurd instances like this in the future. Thanks ever so much.


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