Why Whole Foods needs to train their employees on food allergies

or: Why Chopped Beef is Vague Terminology

other titles include:

“Why people with food allergies must always be vigilant of everything related to their food” or “why people who are supportive to people with (multiple) food allergies are awesome” or “Why my husband is my hero” or “Why grocery stores that supply prepared food need to be better about identifying all ingredients” or “Even the grocery store can be stressful when you have food allergies”

Ok. So. I’m going to talk about my food allergies, if you don’t care, stop reading, go up to the top of your browser and close the page, continue on with life.

My husband and I went to Whole Foods after work on the way home for some light grocery shopping. We do this often. We decided to get food at Whole Foods for dinner, this happens depending on what’s available. I got to what I’d call the “barbecue counter” if I was me – and I am – and found out they still had baked potatoes. So I ordered a baked potato with chopped beef. I also gathered up a small salad at the salad bar. My husband collected much of our other purchases because my foot was sore and throbbing. No one wants to walk all over the grocery store on a sore throbbing foot.

We get home, we’re putting away groceries, you know. Like you do. I explain to my husband what I purchased for dinner. A baked potato with chopped beef. He asked “Brisket?” No, I explained the beef with the sauce. Not brisket. I elaborated, pointing out how I thought all the meat at the barbecue counter was safe for me to eat. He said no, the chopped beef has Austin’s own barbecue sauce in it which has Worcestershire sauce in it. Worcestershire sauce commonly has fish in it so it’s off-limits for me.

Mentally I sigh and remind myself to be calm. Because I was tired and hungry and didn’t remember to bend over and check the very small print of the ingredients card I didn’t see that I shouldn’t have ordered the chopped beef which has the sauce in it. I was just happy to get a baked potato I guess?

So we debate and come up with options:

1. remove the beef and chance the potato, but the potato has also started soaking up the juices/sauces/etc so that’s not really a great option.

2. get something out of the pantry which would be canned soup or a cold sandwich or a noodle bowl like I had for lunch yesterday, none of these are all that fantastic either

3. just eating the salad is not a legitimate answer because it’d leave me hungry later

4. Call Whole Foods and try to get the ingredients

So phone number to Whole Foods found I call and ask to speak to someone at the barbecue counter. I get transferred. I explain I just purchased a potato with chopped beef and I’d like to know the ingredients of the chopped beef – not the brisket. I explain that by the words barbecue counter I mean hot food. I explain I just purchased it and want to know the ingredients. The girl puts me on hold. She comes back and says “Yes we still have some available.”  I’m thinking, “SERIOUSLY!?!?!? REALLY???” and just say Thanks and hang up. After I hang up I explain to my husband, “I give up, the conversation went from me asking what the ingredients are to yes they have some available.” He (rather calmly) asks for the phone and calls himself. He confirms the present of Austin Own’s barbecue sauce. So, because it’s 2013 I go look up Austin’s Own barbecue sauce on the Internet. They have a website. However they have no food allergy information and do not provide a transparent explanation of ingredients. (I filled out the Contact Us form asking that they post food allergy information on their website.)

Then my husband offers to go out to Jason’s Deli and get me a potato so I can still have a potato. I agree, because that sounds like a fabulous idea. I check the Jason’s Deli website and also ask that he order a cup of beef stew if it’s available since Jason’s Deli has all food allergy information (the major eight) as part of the nutritional information on their site.

So, because:

1. for a split second I wasn’t ever vigilant and missed one ingredients label

2. Austin Own’s doesn’t have a full ingredient list or food allergy information posted online

3. Whole Food’s employees seem to be mostly ignorant of food allergies (beyond other things like how to properly hold a knife when slicing meat)

4. chopped beef may or may not be beef with barbecue sauce

I got to send my husband back out into the cold so I could have a hot meal for dinner that didn’t come out of a can and I feel stupid. Ultimately I feel stupid because I forgot to read just one label. I’m so grateful he offered and was willing to go back out in the cold and get me dinner – before eating his own.

Adult (College) Student

I have plans to write up a series of blog posts regarding being an adult college student. The posts would include things like good note taking tools or how to write under a deadline @ Starbucks.

One of the most important things for note-taking? Good quality pens, pencils, paper…

Cell phone + mp3player + electronic dictionary

Those are three pieces of mobile electronic devices I need/want.

My oldish Samsung mp3 player got dropped and the battery shows from behind the speaker. My Blackjack (first gen!) is soon eligible for upgrade. I’ve discovered I want an electronic dictionary for school. Money is an issue.

Cell phone requirements:

1. left hand friendly touch screen

2. decent to good web browsing

3. some customization – my own ‘home screen’ picture and my own ring tones

4. GOOD battery life – my blackjack can go 2 days without a charge, definitely charge it if I spent a lot of the day texting (and I have unlimited texting plan)

5. things I don’t need – cell phone is not for work so I don’t have requirements like a good exchange server platform for emails

6. reliably able to check GMAIL

7. not too heavy. the htc fuze is a smidge on the heavy side

8. have at&t. want to keep family plan.

9. almost forgot. qwerty keyboard. I’m not sure a physical keyboard is necessary.

mp3 player requirements:

1. ogg support – in some way

2. 8 GB minimum

3. the less proprietary the better

4. no stupid software

5. battery life!

6. easy to carry in my pocket/similar

electronic dictionary:

1. more is better, need like college level

2. don’t need translator

All that being said…

Will an iphone (which I’m not sure I want) fulfill all my requirements and save me money?

Purse Part 2

I got my purse from LLBean yesterday. It’s niiiiice. It’s too big though. Told OP that if I ever buy a leather purse again, if it doesn’t actually smell of leather…. that means don’t buy it. This has lovely construction. There’s a few things I have to get used to. Like the wallet. The wallet is huge but I think I will end up falling in love with it. The bigger wallet is also easier to find in the bigger purse. The purse actually is sorta backpack in construction.

Random: the search for the perfect purse

I guess if anyone reading this blog has any question of whether the writer (me!) is female… this will probably clear it up. Any question of whether or not I am indeed not the average female will probably also be cleared up.
I currently have a brown leather purse I purchased from a Wilson Leather Outlet. Well, today I switched back to the previous purse I was using. The Wilson leather purse has worn like shit and is beginning to look like shit. There appears to be some kind of double layer to the leather, something is wearing off the leather. There is where I point out I had a very nice leather purse from Wilson’s which I bought in a regular store. I used it for about 2 years before trashing it because one of my cats (who I had to give up not long after for a number of reasons) peed on it. Not really worth it to get a 60-70 dollar purse cleaned… easier to buy another purse.

The previous purse I switched back to is actually a faux leather/as in vinyl probably purse that came from Target. That purse has worn better than the Wilson’s purse!! Needless to say, even accounting for the fact that I bought it from an outlet, I’m very hesitant to purchase another purse from Wilson’s. Oh. I still have my leather wallet I bought when I bought my first Wilson’s purse. It’s holding up nicely!

My problem. I hate the current trend that has attacked purses/handbags/etc. Everything that I saw on Coach’s website looks like ass in some shape or form. I’ve looked at: Dillards, JC Penney’s, Target, Wilson’s and a number of other websites. Even places like overstock.com. I found out Fossil makes purses. I wanted to see if Bass still makes purses and if they have a website… but no luck there.

I did find a nice looking purse on LLBean’s website. But, it’s 150 bucks so I’m not going to just drop the cash on it. (Being the full time college student/part time self employed person that I am.) It guess it’s so difficult for me to find a purse/handbag I like because I prefer: leather, a shoulder strap, more than one pocket/or compartment because of what I always carry and a simple look.

Simple doesn’t describe any overpriced monstrosity that Coach is currently selling.