During my winter break this year, I spotted something new in my Los Angeles neighborhood. It definitely wasn’t snow, but was instead a new Trader Joe’s. There’s now one near the Beverly Center on La Cienega Boulevard and one in Woodland Hills. It must be an L.A. thing, right? Wrong.
After arriving back at school in Grinnell, Iowa, my roommate mentioned that she had noticed more people in those quirky blue Hawaiian shirts in Minnesota. Now the question is, why?
I think that people are realizing that organic food is a core component to our overall health. The less stuff—pesticides, hormones, etc.—that is on or in our food, the better. Everyone is realizing that fast food just isn’t cutting it anymore for dinner. Trader Joe’s and other healthy food stores are helping more people take advantage of what everyone wants: clean, healthy, and affordable food. For example, I remember in the documentary “Super Size Me,” Morgan Spurlock discovered that it was cheaper to eat greasy, fattening, detrimental foods than to buy vegetables. Yup, buying fresh broccoli or asparagus is more expensive than a double cheeseburger. There’s a problem with this right?
Well, Trader Joe’s works to “keep prices low on innovative, hard-to-find, great-tasting foods” (Trader Joe’s 2013). For this reason, people are flocking to their stores to get Pirate Booty, fresh fruit, and private label foods. Trader Joe’s is tasty, nutritious, and unique, but it still seems like a “mom and pop” kind of store due to its friendly checkout people who believe in the store’s mission. It can’t get any better.
According to fan blogger Jovanna Brooks (traderjoesfan.com), “The reason that there are so many really die-hard Trader Joe’s fans is because you can get incredibly unique items. It’s adventure shopping all the time because there are things that are constantly new.”
Overall, I believe that people across the U.S. are attracted to health food stores not just because of the prices. The fad of going green has proved to be more than just a fad. People seem to be going all out when it comes to eating, shopping, and sharing via social media. People are now accustomed to bringing their own canvas bags to do their shopping (which Trader Joe’s rewards by giving a ten cent discount off your final order). Seaweed is replacing chips, quinoa is becoming a household name, and exercise is coming into the mainstream.
I would like to applaud Americans for their lifestyle changes. While there is always room for improvement, I think simple changes like these can lead to a whole new outlook on being green.