File under: State/Regional
Whether it’s eating granola bars, soy products or fruit, eating healthy is a huge part of some student’s daily routine, and with the arrival of a new health foods store, area students are given another avenue to eat smart.
Whole Foods Marketplace is set to open May 1 on the corner of Rutgers and College Ave. The Texas-based food chain is the largest organic and natural food supermarket in the United States. The chain is scattered with 145 stores in 30 states.
“It’s important for any stage of life to eat healthy,” said Shirley Perryman, CSU Foods and Nutrition Extension specialist.
Perryman said it is crucial for college students to maintain a healthy diet to better protect them later in life. She said the arrival of another health food store would only help keep students eating the right foods and welcomes Whole Foods Marketplace with open arms.
As long as students eat healthy and take in plenty of fruits and vegetables, eating sugar and junk food is still okay, as long as it is in moderation, Perryman said.
“We all need to eat more fruits and veggies,” she said. “You got to plan and do more trade-offs.”
Perryman said that students should trade-off things like beer and chips once in a while for things like soy products or fruits. In addition, she said while students gobble down snack foods, they might want to think of it as part of their daily in-take rather then an extra bonus during the day.
The marketing for Whole Foods Marketplace can be traced back to the first store opening in Austin, Texas near the University of Texas campus. The market in college towns is perfect for the company, according to Louis Karp, the team leader of Whole Food Marketplace in Boulder.
The Boulder locale is one of the top competing areas for organic stores in the nation, competing with Seattle.
“I think the demographics for Whole Foods Marketplace is an educated populous,” Karp said.
Karp said people are appealing to the chain more as times change as people try to eat healthier. Karp said the store offers more than just the typical organic fruits and nuts. Most locations offer a bakery, deli and full seafood service.
“Once upon a time Whole Foods Market was geared toward granola crunching hippies,” he said.
The Whole Foods Marketplace in Fort Collins is set to open May 1, 2004, but Karp said the company hopes to open it earlier. The design and permitting process has slowed the construction, but the company remains optimistic in reaching it’s goal of opening 155 more stores in the next six years, Karp said.
“The Fort Collins location will be a full-blown Whole Foods Market,” he said, adding that a Borders is also being constructed next door to the supermarket.
Perryman is especially impressed with Whole Foods Marketplace because none of their products contain trans fatty acids, among other perks. Trans fatty acids are man-made fat cells in food which have shown to have raised bad cholesterol levels and lowered good ones, putting those who eat the fats at higher risk with heart disease and other ailments.
The Food and Drug Administration has ordered that all products containing trans fatty acids, label it on the nutritional facts bar by 2006. Many companies have already begun the labeling process or have completely taken out the fat to suit companies like Whole Foods Marketplace.
“If people eat less trans fat, ideally you would have a healthy body,” Perryman said.
Whole Food Marketplace will compete with other natural food stores in the area, like Wild Oats. Wild Oats offers similar benefits to customers looking for alternative foods, without the preservatives and artificial additives.
“We have the most rigorous food standards in the market,” said Sonja Tuitele, a spokesperson for Wild Oats, adding they are phasing out trans fatty acids from their shelves and have everything organic whenever possible, especially in produce. “We read the labels, so you don’t have to.”
Tuitele admits Whole Foods Marketplace is the company’s primary competitor but said the two chains tend to share the market. Wild Oats has been in the presence of Fort Collins for 17 years and does expect the arrival of Whole Foods Marketplace to slightly effect business but said will bounce back later, Tuitele said.
“We do believe healthy competition is good for any business,” Tuitele said.
September is “5 a Day Month”-the slogan being “5 a day, the color way” Perryman suggests this motto to students who may want to snack on healthy foods throughout the day.
Blue/Purple-Helps slow the aging process (ie: plums)
Green-Lowers risk of cancer (ie: kiwi)
White-Wellness (ie: califlower)
Yellow/Orange-Maintaining healthy immune system and vision health
Red-Memory (ie: cherries)