Beet Reporter Puts Down the Pen, Ties on an Apron at Whole Foods
I haven't posted in a few months. It's not that I've quit writing or gone on an epic vacation. I've been ordained a real-life Healthy Eating Specialist. This means that where I used to spend my days interviewing prominent health foodies and vegan athletes, or examining the latest nutritional news, I've now taken a much more hands-on, front-lines role in the "Good Food Revolution." This means wearing aprons and digging my latex-gloved hands in bowls full of organic watercress, bok choy, and other nutrient-dense vittles, explaining the value of the food while I serve it to crowds of nutritionally-curious "students."
Just as I did when I was a freelancer, I now wear many hats. Only now these are real hats, not figurative ones. To make sure none of my rambunctious blonde hairs jumps into the watercress bowl, and also to represent my new employer, my head's always clad in a cap or a beret that bears the Whole Foods logo.
Yes, I've been hired by Whole Foods Market's Coral Gables store. Each store has a Healthy Eating/Green Mission Specialist like me, an ambassador for the Health Starts Here program, which emphasizes four main criteria for what constitutes good food. They also happen to be the standards to which I held my own food before I got this gig.
Students listen, watch, and eat during a free Health Starts Here class at Whole Foods Market Coral Gables
They preach that food should be whole, or minimally processed, strong on plants, rich in vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals, with many nutrients per calorie, and finally that fats should come from healthy, whole-foods sources (avocados, nuts, seeds, and beans for example) and not extracted oils. The program advocates minimal animal protein in the diet and completely excludes dairy, refined sugars, refined grains or flours, and oils. Yes, even olive oil and coconut oils.
(For more on why, go here.) The Green Mission part of the job means the Specialist also helps to further each store's recycling, composting, community clean-up, and other green initiatives.