How whole are those foods?

June 24, 2011
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In an what she says was an accidental piece of topical marketing, Faulkner Hospital nutritionist Nancy Oliveira is advertising her June 30 workshop “Be Supermarket Savvy,” with a nod to the most-talked-about grocery store chain in Jamaica Plain.

“What are the pros and cons of shopping at Shaw’s versus Whole Foods?” says the workshop announcement.

The short version of the answer to that question is, “It’s a grey area,” Oliveira told the Gazette last week.

On the question of organic vegetables, “The benefits of eating a healthy diet are much greater than the health risks,” she said. “There is no hard research showing a link between pesticides and specific diseases.”

On the other hand, locally grown produce is almost certainly healthier than produce that has been shipped across the continent in container trucks, she said. “It is fresher and more nutritious,” she said.

Whole Foods specializes in natural and organic foods, and promotes itself as a purveyor of locally-grown produce, though Oliveira noted that other grocers, including Shaw’s, are also increasingly carrying local and organic produce.

Oliveira also gave Whole Foods high marks for its attractive produce displays. “Some people feel inspired by walking into Whole Foods,” to buy and eat more vegetables, she said.

“Be Supermarket Savvy” will take place June 30 at Faulkner Hospital. [See JP Agenda.]

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