Cat's out of the bag that I have an unhealthy (pun intended :) obsession with Whole Foods. I give them a lot of credit on a lot of levels. I've heard it said that their market is finite and they're nearing their expansion limit. I disagree. I think they're morphing themselves into a lower priced market (365) in an age when eating whole and nutritious and local is a national trend, and that this will keep them growing for years to come.
Anyway, I digress. As with everything else this week, one of the levels I admire is Whole Foods' attention to detail. A few years ago I first noticed the Andi Score (not sure how long it's actually been around). The Andi Score which is short for "Aggregate Nutrition Density Index" is described on their site and in their stores as being "...created to help consumers quickly and accurately identify foods with the highest nutritional values. No need to memorize the best source of this or that vitamin. ANDI takes the most important nutrients into consideration including: Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Vitamin E and even phytochemicals that are potent antioxidants vital for optimal health.And the best news is that you don’t need to count calories or obsess over fat. The ANDI formula is very simple: ANDI = Nutrients divided by Calories. So the highest scoring foods have the fewest calories and virtually no fat. Foods are ranked on a scale of 1 to 1000. Kale and collards receive the top score of 1000 while cola lands at the bottom of the scale with a 1."
I LOVE checking out the Andi score of all the yummy produce stocking their shelves. It's not only informative for me and my choices, but it makes me feel like Whole Foods cares about my choices. I love it so much, that when a friend and I first discovered it we used to text each other high Andi scores that surprised us.
I was reminded of this attention to detail as I walked by the bulk bins at the Whole Foods on Bowery the other day. Sitting out for the taking were these little (well designed) booklets full of all sorts of information on beans, rices, flours ... Things that I can buy at a desired weight but might not know how to treat. Or maybe I just want to know about them, and there is that info too. I might never know what Amaranth Flour is, but this booklet lets me know that their is no gluten in it (great for me !) and that it is "A strong, spicy, nutty-flavored flour. Best used as an accent flour to waffles, pancakes, cookies or muffins." Intriguing. Thanks Whole Foods, for your attention to detail + sharing your knowledge.
And P.S. they have a great recipes section on their site as well.