AUSTIN, TX. (January 26, 2009)

– Are you thinking about staying at home with your honey to celebrate this February 14? Well, you're not alone: in a recent U.S. survey of married adults*, Whole Foods Market found that 81 percent would prefer that their significant others make them a nice dinner at home instead of taking them out to eat on Valentine's Day.

The survey, conducted by Harris Interactive® and commissioned by Whole Foods Market, found that of those married adults who would prefer to celebrate Valentine's Day at home with a nice meal; many share both romantic and frugal reasons:

  • Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) agree that dinner at home is more intimate or special
  • Nearly three out of four (73 percent ) also agree that Valentine's Day dinner at home prepared by a significant other is more personal, thoughtful or caring
  • Half also cite financial reasons, such as the current state of the economy and the increased expense of eating out, to enjoy a Valentine's celebration at home

“Instead of making reservations, make a romantic dinner at home this year,” says Theo Weening, Whole Foods Market's Meat Guy. “Whether you are cooking inside or outside, we have the perfect tips to help guarantee big flavor for less than going out. For example, two 12-ounce dry-aged steaks, with sides, can be served for much less than the cost of two meals at a steakhouse.”

To help this year's romantic home chef, Weening recommends relying on Whole Foods Market's experienced in-store butchers to provide personalized service and recommendations for a custom cut, a special order or cooking suggestions to create a perfect sweetheart meal.

Weening says that besides ready-to-cook meats that are already seasoned or marinated, skewered, stuffed, breaded or cut to order, dry-aged steaks and “sweetheart” rib eyes steaks -heart-shaped cuts prepared especially for Valentine's Day – are his personal favorites. In a new video found at: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/pressroom/great-steak-at-home/.  Weening provides year-round grilling tips for steaks with fine-dining flavor, but without the expensive tab.

  *Married adults defined as U.S. adults ages 18+ that are married or living with their partner.   Concerns about the high cost of eating out on Valentine's Day are worse than ever for more than a third of married adults (38 percent), with only 8 percent feeling less concerned this year, according to the survey.

Weening says that preparing a memorable steak dinner for your Valentine can be breeze. “There's no need to be a trained chef to prepare and enjoy an amazing steak. In very short time, anyone can whip up a romantic meal that is sure to win the hearts of those with the most discerning palates,” he says.

Weening serves up these guidelines for preparing full-flavored, affordable steaks in minutes:

  • Choose well-marbled steaks to maximize flavor and tenderness;
  • Heat the grill to peak temperature before grilling;
  • Remember to follow basic food safety guidelines for handling and preparing raw meat;
  • To lock in moisture, bring steak to room-temperature before cooking;
  • Keep the flavor natural – dry-aged cuts have such naturally robust flavor, there's no need to add seasoning;
  • Never slice meat to check if done – check meat's firmness instead – very soft meat is rare; slightly firm meat is medium to well-done; and very firm meat is well-done;
  • Let steak rest five minutes after grilling to allow juices to redistribute and flavors to mature; and
  • Serve with a bit of garnish and enjoy!

To complete your special Valentine's steak dinner at home, Whole Foods Market suggests these easy recipes found at www.wholefoodsmarket.com: Shrimp Cocktail with Creamy-Spicy Green Onion Dipping Sauce, Winter Endive, Pear and Walnut Salad, Parmesan Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Steamed Artichokes with Lemon Butter Sauce. To round out their romantic meals, shoppers can also pick up everything at Whole Foods Market, including chef-prepared sides, fresh flowers, scratch-baked breads or fantastic desserts.

Why Whole Foods Market Meat Tastes So Much Better

 

 

 

Dry-Aged

– Whole Foods Market uses this slow, traditional process for aging its finest meats. Dry-aged steaks are processed for 14-21 days in a humidity and temperature-controlled environment. This allows moisture to evaporate and enzymes to break down muscle fiber, enhancing the meat's tenderness, intensifying its flavor and producing a juicier cut, and a tender, buttery texture. Dry-aged steaks, often featured at high-end steakhouses, are available at most Whole Foods Market stores.  

 

 

No Antibiotics Ever, No Added Growth Hormones** and Raised on a Vegetarian Diet

– Whole Foods Market standards prohibit the use of antibiotics or added growth hormones in raising animals for our meat program.  As well, the standards insist that all animals are raised on a vegetarian diet with no animal byproducts in the animal's feed.

Third-Party Audited

– Whole Foods Market requires all slaughter and processing facilities to be audited by independent, third-party specialists to ensure that producers and processors adhere to our high standards for food safety and animal welfare.

**Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones in raising pork and poultry.

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About the Survey:

The Valentine's Day Celebration survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of Whole Foods Market, Inc. between January 16 and January 20 among 2,082 adults ages 18+ of whom 1,217 are married or living with their partner. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact cathy.cochranlewis@wholefoods.com.

 

 

About Harris Interactive:

Harris Interactive is a global leader in custom market research. With a long and rich history in multimodal research that is powered by our science and technology, we assist clients in achieving business results. Harris Interactive serves clients globally through our North American, European and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.