The One Mistake You're Making When Getting Whole Foods Prepared Food

September 14, 2016 by Justine Schwartz
shefinds | Style

I would say about twice a week I get a lunch or dinner from the prepared foods section of Whole Foods. It’s just so easy to run in and grab something when I don’t have any good groceries at home or don’t feel like waiting for food to be delivered.

If you’re a last-minute-Whole-Foods-prepared-food-eater like me, you know that not all the dishes are as good as others (yummm, that mac ‘n’ cheese tho). You also know that when you’re grabbing food from the prepared food cooler aisle (the prepared food that’s already been packaged up), you also need to be careful about which item you choose. I mean–you need to look closely at the label to see what TIME the product was made.

READ MORE: 8 Facts You Never Knew About Whole Foods

Why? Because if it’s an item with a lot of marinade or dressing, and it was prepared at 8am, by the time you go to grab it for dinner, it’s going to be pretty soggy and gross. When choosing prepared food, you want the freshest items available–the food is so expensive (hence the name, “Whole Paycheck”), you want to get really delicious, high quality meals to get the most for your money. So, the one mistake you’re probably making when getting Whole Foods prepared food is not checking the time stamp on the label. 

READ MORE: 2 Things You Should Never Buy At Whole Foods, According To A Former Employee

If you’re not checking the time stamp, you need to start immediately. Also, one food blogger points out that you need to be reading the ingredient labels closely, too. According to 100 Days of Real Food, Whole Foods prepared foods contain some not-so-stellar ingredients, including GMOs (genetically modified organisms), hidden MSG and not-so-good-for-you cheap oils (like corn oil).

READ MORE: 5 Ways To Save More When You Shop At Whole Foods

One last thing on Whole Foods prepared food while I have you–you should know that not all Whole Foods prepared foods are organic. This might be why you entered Whole Foods to begin with–but that’s one of the common misconceptions about the store. Not everything is organic, so you have to closely read your food labels!


Editorial Director

Justine Schwartz is a veteran women's lifestyle editor; she's written extensively about style & beauty tips, health advice and wedding planning for more than a decade. Her work has appeared in New York Magazine, Huffington Post and New York Weddings. Justine has been with SheFinds since 2010; you can reach her via email at [email protected]

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