Recently, Whole Foods caught a fair amount shit for introducing a produce butcher. Or better put, a single location of Whole Foods in Midtown Manhattan caught some shit for testing out the idea of having someone cut your fruits and vegetables for you — for roughly a dollar a pound. “An amazing convenience or a desperate sign of laziness?” asked Modern Farmer.
Why can’t it be both? As a man whose grill specialty is vegetables, I go with a rustic chop at all times mainly because I’m all thumbs when it comes to cutting them any other way. I would like to slice and dice in a more aesthetically pleasing manner — for instance, the Whole Foods produce butcher offers julienne, mince and dice options, although not, per Modern Farmer, “the trendy ‘spiralize’ method of turning vegetables (zoodles!) into long noodle shapes.” But a couple of things inevitably happen when I attempt to wield my cold steel in this way:
1) I slice off some portion of the top of my finger; or
2) It takes me as long to free my fruits and vegetables from their natural shape as it does to prepare the entire meal.
If I’m being honest, then, I’ve been cheating for a while. Case in point: Though almost every meal I make comes with cubed butternut squash, I’ve never taken a knife to my favorite gourd — to cube it or otherwise. While I know how to make butternut squash that tastes great (oil, salt, pepper, sweet balsamic glaze), I have no idea how to separate its opaque exterior from its orange interior. And so, each time I make it, I purchase it pre-sliced from my local grocery chain — probably at about a $4 markup from simply buying a whole one and cubing it myself.
So if you want to bag on Whole Foods for anything, it’s that it somehow thinks cutting your produce for you is an original idea.