Young and Hungry

Whole Foods Wants to Be Your Prep Cook

While grocery shopping for this year's Thanksgiving meal, I spotted these shrink-wrapped wonders at my local Whole Foods. My first thought was what kind of over-privileged priss-ball can't chop his own friggin' vegetables?

My second thought was to conduct a quick price comparison. The package of chopped celery and brunoise carrots sells for $3.07. I suspect that, maybe, there are a total of two diced carrots in that package. An entire bag of organic carrots at Whole Foods sells for $1.29.

Which makes said over-privileged priss-ball who buys this package not only lazy but a spendthrift. Unless...unless said over-privileged priss-ball understands the value of his or her time. Perhaps it takes this priss-ball 10 minutes to chop and dice carrots and celery, and this priss-ball is actually a lawyer who earns $250 a hour.  That 10 minutes translates into, roughly, about $42. So paying a couple of dollars more to make $42 would be a good use of time.

Why do I feel like I'm overthinking this?

This morning I had a third thought on these pre-cut veggies: Why wouldn't Whole Foods offer such a product? Grocery stores already butcher our meats, bake our breads, brew our coffees, bake our cakes, prepare our salads, build our sandwiches, clean and slice our fish, peel our shrimp, slice our deli meats, and god knows what else. Isn't chopping our vegetables just the next logical step?

Maybe one day they can eat our food for us, too, and tell us how it tastes?

  • yup

    Don't forget the singleton factor: I cannot possibly finish an entire bag of carrots myself before they go bad. Sometimes getting salad bar items is a savings in the long run due to less spoilage.

  • Scott Reitz

    Those onions oxidize every second after they're cut up. Not only are you wasting cash, you're throwing away flavor.

  • Simon

    As a lawyer who bills exactly $250 an hour, let me tell you that (a) yes, time is money; but (b) the relation is not linear. I don't have the option of converting any six-minute interval, at any time of day or night, into $25, at my discretion and on a whim. For that to be the case, I would have to have 24 hours worth of work in a day, such that any time I _wasn't_ working I was actually getting behind. And if that were the case, my firm would simply hire another lawyer.

  • Simon

    I should also add that the reason my billing rate is a modest $250/hour is that I'm only three years out of law school.

  • Ron moten

    @simon: why would you "add" that? Nobody cares.

  • Ed Bruske

    These and other "prepped" items are Whole Foodss' way of selling stuff that didn't move when it was in its whole form. Same with all those fruit cups and fruit salads you see in the coolers at Whole Foods. Quite literally, it's a second bite at the apple. They remove stuff from the produce displays that don't look so good anymore, cut them, dice them, slice them and offer them up in a new package. Voila! Convenience produce, one step away from being composted.

  • Emily
  • Brad

    @Ed Bruske: That information is an assumption. I've had plenty of their pre cut food and many times it is inedible due to immaturity. The shiz aint ripe yet. You're entitled to your personal opinion but...

    Also, I imagine a lot of customers in DC don't care that they;re paying that much more for cut food. As busy as folks are in this city, they sure are lazy.

  • Mick

    @Simon The author's sarcasm has apparently been lost on you