Viewpoint: Waco needs more unprocessed foods in supermarkets

By Molly Dunn
Assistant City Editor

If you’re vegan, vegetarian, gluten-intolerant or just love organic and natural food, there are not many options to buy foods that fit your diet.

Major cities around the country have an array of options for people with special food preferences to shop at, but sadly, Waco is not one of those places. HEB and Wal-Mart don’t offer the best selection for natural, unprocessed and nutritious foods that a Whole Foods Market would offer.

I’m not vegan, vegetarian or gluten-intolerant, but I am a Type 1 diabetic and love to eat unprocessed foods in their natural states. Having diabetes has opened my eyes to a multitude of healthy food options.

If there are places that sell natural, un-processed foods that promote healthy diets, then there’s no reason these options shouldn’t be more available to other major cities.

It’s a shame that the only options to purchase such foods are in the small sections of a few grocery stores and other small shops such as Drug Emporium on Bosque Boulevard.

Our generation has placed more value on knowing exactly what’s in the food we eat, how it is processed and what the nutritional benefits it has for us, so it seems logical to have one of the largest and most successful organic markets establish itself in Waco.

The closest Whole Foods Market is in Austin, but no one wants to do grocery shopping an hour away, leaving those who buy organic foods to choose from the limited and small variety of options in HEB or other grocery stores. Most of the time these options don’t suffice the dietary needs of many people.

If Waco had a Whole Foods Market, not only would those with dietary restrictions or specific dietary requests be able to select from more food options, but those who haven’t tried organic, unprocessed foods would have the opportunity to discover a whole new side of healthy eating.

Whole Foods would give customers the choice of brands they cannot find in your everyday grocery store. The market evaluates every product that they sell and makes sure that their products are free of any artificial preservatives, colors, sweeteners or flavors, so everything is basically natural, and they make sure that all of their specialty products taste good.

There is even a Facebook page requesting that Whole Foods Market comes to Waco. Obviously, there is a desire to have a large organic market and it would definitely do well in Waco. With so many Baylor students that are vegan, vegetarian or gluten-intolerant, it’s logical to have a larger supermarket for them to buy these types of foods.

Molly Dunn is a junior journalism major from The Woodlands and is the Lariat’s assistant city editor.