Best Health Food Store?
Do we have a large Whole Foods(ish) store somewhere in the city?
EDIT: Since you've changed your question, I'd go with jptimbaud's suggestion, but i'll leave my original reply up anyway for the sake of future searches.
I think it depends on what you're looking for. I find everything I need at Aliments Merci which is very crunchy granola and great for bulk stuff, but might not satisfy your uncontrollable cravings for the latest health food or alternative medicine fad. Health nuts are better served by places like Rachelle-Béry, Bio-Terre and their ilk.
There's http://www.healthtree.ca in DDO, although I find their price points slightly higher (and similar to Rachelle Berry) they do have a very good selection of produce, lots of Valen Meats as well as vitamins/natural supplements for those interested.
I finds Aliments Merci (as posted above) to have better prices.
We really don't have anything that compares to Whole Foods, but I find I can get pretty much everything I need at the Jean Talon market. At the south-east end of the market there is a Merci and another health food store called Alfalfa directly across from it. Between those two, I can find just about everything I need. In the summer there are a few stalls that carry local, organic produce. In the winter the main source for organic produce and also bulk grains, beans, etc, is Michaca--inside the covered portion of the market, also on the east side...
For really good deals on "brand name" organics etc (like bob's red mill, Yves, Tofurkey, and other such stuff) try Segal's on St. Laurent and Duluth (but I would stay away from their produce as much as possible).
Also, Viva Granola just opened a new storefront up the road from there--they have all kinds of vegan products that I haven't seen anywhere else in the city. They're just south of Rachel on St. Laurent.
I guess I am prejudiced but after ten years in Chicago I learned to absolutely detest Whole Foods who knew organic meant expensive and tasteless. The organic stand at JTM has excellent produce and the Quebec government does an excellent job of limiting antibiotics and pesticides in our food I would say most Quebec meat, dairy and produce has less poison than the ersatz food I got in Chicago from that Texas outfit.
I have lived all over North America and I must say that our local food matches the best anywhere but living on the Vermont Quebec border I must say that the Vermont organic farmers are doing a fantastic job as well. The only thing Whole Foods does well is sell image although at one time they did carry Peace River Honey.
Join one of the local ecogroups as their are many young people who wish to start farming organically but need to know that there is a willing market out there buying local is better than for everyone's health. I could never figure out why people would pay twice as much for inferior organic potatoes from Idaho than for better organically grown potatoes grown 2 hours away in Michigan but then again Whole Foods doesn't do local.
- The original comment has been removed