Berkeley boy gets real in the Whole Foods parking lot

He’s a Berkeley High School alum (class of ’92), his fiancée also attended BHS, and his parents live in Berkeley. He drives a Prius and likes quinoa — and now a music video created by David Wittman, which has some fun at the expense of Whole Food-shopping healthfood nuts (like him), is going viral.

In an interview with occasional Berkeleyside contributor Tanya Jo Miller for CyberFrequencies, Wittman (aka DJ Dave) explains that, although he shot the video at a Whole Foods in west Los Angeles, its tongue-in-cheek message applies just as readily in the Bay Area.

“I have a lot of love for the Bay. I grew up in Berkeley… I couldn’t be happier that people like [the video] up in the Bay.”

Wittman says the video — which is approaching half a million views on YouTube and was recently tweeted by Ryan Seacrest to his 4.6 million Twitter followers — speaks to how we consume things, but it’s also him laughing at himself and people like him who find themselves getting stressed trying to find a parking space at Whole Foods or dealing with irritating fellow shoppers.

The video was created by Wittman’s creative collective, Fog and Smog, which is based out of the Bay Area and Los Angeles. Perhaps Wittman and his friends are following in the footsteps of three other BHS alums who went on to find fame with their Lonely Island music productions?

And what does Whole Foods make of the video? One might imagine a reference in the song to paying $80 for six items might not go down well. “They like it,” Wittman tells Miller. “They think it’s funny, they want to put it on their website, they tweeted it.”

Listen to Miller’s interview with Wittman here.

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  • The prices at Whole Foods give me pause if not the parking situation akin to Berdely Bowl except for prices.

  • John Holland

    Wonderfully creative. However, I don’t promote anything that promotes Whole Foods, because their CEO actively crusades against universal health care. Whole Foods is Hansel and Gretel for liberals: pretty on the outside, but when you get inside you find high-prices, and you discover active campaigns against labor and sick people.

    I will not be “liking” or tweeting this article.

  • With the other options we have here in Berkeley, why would anyone ever shop at Whole Foods?

     Berkeley Bowl beats Whole Foods in every conceivable way.

  • I agree 100% — The ridiculously high prices aren’t the only thing that’s outrageous about Whole Foods. Scratch the surface and they’re about as un-Berkeley as a company can be.

  • Try Berkeley Bowl West — I’ve always been able to find a spot in their overflow parking lot no matter how busy things were.

  • Dj

    This comment must be a joke. 
    1) Most checkers at Berkeley Bowl act like they hate you and hate their own life. It is a notorious union busting business.
    2) Parking at either store sucks.  It’s a little better at West.
    3) The hours suck.
    4)  I got organic yogurts at WF for $50ea.  I got free range chicken for $1.99lb.  If you know
    how to shop and look for deals, WF beats everyone but Grocery Outlet (my 2d favorite store)

    The best produce in town (quality/price/service) is Monterrey Market. Great store.
    The thing that pisses me off about most of these stores is the SUGGESTION that the prices are
    gonna be good.  It’s the same technique that works so well for Best Buy.  It has a warehouse feel, it must
    have good deals.  They don’t. Actually shop in these stores.  Actually compare the prices. Don’t believe
    the hype.  WF can be very reasonable if you look for specials. Yes, their produce can be very pricey but that’s usually during a time when other stores aren’t stocking those things BECAUSE they’re pricey.

    While I agree the CEO is a world class butthead, the staff at the Berkeley WF has always been super cool to me.  Super helpful.

    To be honest, I VERY ocd when it comes to grocery shopping.  Just ask my wife (I hate when she shops for food). I’m sorry if I sound argumentative. 

  • guest

    Awww Berkeley Bowl.  The most likely place on earth to be run over by a hybrid with a “coexist” bumper sticker.  That is one rage filled parking lot for a peace loving town.

  • pwnstar

    The owners of Berkeley bowl are just as non-union as Whole Foods. The prices at Whole Foods are very competitive on like items. Take the blinders off people. 

  • Jtothev24

    More local berkeley high school related rap videos !!!!
    tell me how to graph unofficial video

  • NYCtransplant

    I’ve almost been run over a couple times just walking in the Berkeley Bowl parking lot. I’ve also seen an impatient person waiting for a parking spot at Whole Foods decide to gun it into a just opened spot and smash into the car next to it. I have since stopped driving to both of these establishments. People need to chill out.

  • Cammy

    My own preference? No, it isn’t Whole Foods or Berkeley Bowl – it’s El Cerrito Natural Grocery (or Berkeley Natural Grocery). The nicest people, (yes they will cut a peach open for you to taste) and lowest prices. If I need some marshmallows sans gelatin, or natural food coloring for baking I might venture to Whole Foods, as they do carry everything….

  • 1.) I go to Berkeley Bowl West, and have never experienced rude or surly checkers. Maybe your attitude is rubbing off on the people you come in contact with.

    2.) Parking at Berkeley Bowl West is great! Even when I go at the busiest hours, I can easily find a spot as soon as I get there. Try the overflow lot across the street – there are always open spaces there.

    3.) The hours are pretty standard for a grocery store.

    4.) Clearly you’ve never visited the discount produce corner at Berkeley Bowl West, shopped in their bulk bins, or bothered to shop their seasonal sales. You should really check it out sometime.

  • Not when it comes to produce they aren’t. I consistently get far better deals at Berkeley Bowl. And I’ve never heard of the owners of Berkeley Bowl campaigning against Nationalized health care.

  • Paulbassoon

    What’s obvious is that life is more stressful for everyone these days-the economy in California is not good, our
    schools are getting worse, etc. As a expat Berkeley native living in Tokyo-I see every time I go back home more and more stress in people’s lives, more things that are happening globally that are affecting people’s lives locally. Here in Tokyo many people do not use cars and instead bike to stores; the type of aggression seen in a Whole Foods parking lot or aisle just does not happen here. Outside of time sales (when meat, fish or produce is at a special price for a couple hours)-there is very little anger or aggression about shopping or parking your bicycle. 

  • DC

    Me, I find everyone at BB nice and everyone at Monterrey surly, unhelpful and at times actively rude.  I try to avoid it.  And WF is too pricey for me, because I buy mostly produce.  I’ve compared, and I find it wanting.

    That said, this is a way cool video!  I loved it.

  • NotFromCA

    WOW.  You guys are exactly the people he is rapping about.  It’s getting real in the Berkeleyside comment section…

  • NotFromCA

    WOW.  You guys are exactly the people he is rapping about.  It’s getting real in the Berkeleyside comment section…

  • Amelia

    David Whitman!!!! Still djing!!!! Cool video, just should’ve filmed it in your hometown!!!

  • Skwirrlmaster

    If you ever really wanna know about Nationalized “health” care talk to a vet.  Ask how good the government treated them as a number.  Then imagine how great the federal government can treat you.  Believe me.  YOU DONT WANT IT.  Uncle Sam will undercut every HMO you could imagine.

  • Skwirrlmaster

    From somebody that has had government health care and spent the better part of 2 years begging unsuccessfully for an MRI before having 2 discs rupture.  Government health care is the stupidest thing you have ever dreamed of wanting.

  • John Holland

    As opposed to dying?

  • John Holland

    As opposed to dying? I’ll take the crappy healthcare over dying, thanks.

  • John Holland

    “The owners of Berkeley bowl are just as non-union as Whole Foods.”

    Yes, but they don’t campaign nationwide against ME having healthcare. You and Whole Foods CEO John Mackey may believe that it’s acceptable for a certain number of sick kids to die with out health insurance. I beg to differ. Hence me choosing Berkeley Bowl as the lesser of the evils.

  •  Yeah, God forbid I defend the checkers at a local grocery store. What an asshole I am, right?

  •  Yeah, God forbid I defend the checkers at a local grocery store. What an asshole I am, right?

  • Comparing the shameful way we treat our veterans in the United States to the kind of nationalized health care they have in Canada or England is a bit off the mark.

  • Comparing the shameful way we treat our veterans in the United States to the kind of nationalized health care they have in Canada or England is a bit off the mark.

  • Charles_Siegel

     I was recently in Amsterdam, and the nearest supermarket had diagonal parking in front for bikes.  No parking for cars, except for the usual on-street spaces, but it didn’t matter because virtually no one drove to get their groceries.  To accommodate all the bikes, they striped diagonal bicycle parking on half of the sidewalk in front of the store. 

    Living in Berkeley, I have done my grocery shopping by bike all my adult life.  Less road rage, fewer parking problems, and of course, much less damage to the world’s environment.

  • Berkeley_Bowl_Boycotter

    Berkeley Bowl, or the Toilet Bowl as we call it, has the worst return policy anywhere. I won’t shop there for much of anything because they don’t accept returns. Their produce is less expensive. Most other stuff is the same price as Whole Foods.

  • DC

    I’ve returned several things there over the years and had no issues.  But to each their own.

  • Berkeley Mom

    That’s simply not true.  I have returned items to the Bowl MANY times.  Typically, it’s something that I inadvertently got the wrong flavor or size, or got more than I needed – unopened, non-perishable items, with a receipt.  They did refuse to take a return of an open, partially used item that I tried and didn’t like, but I wasn’t really expecting them to (just hoping).

    I find that their prices are significantly lower than Whole Foods or Andronico’s, but not as low as Monterrey Market.

  • bp

    Get to Walmart YO!