I just found out today that a Whole Foods is going to be built close to my neighborhood. Too bad it’s not an Earth Fare.
While many crunchy, green mamas might rejoice at Whole Foods coming to town, I am in mourning because Whole Foods is basically on par with your “neighborhood” Walmart.
There is nothing “neighborly” about Walmart or Whole Foods.
What a joke.
Whole Foods is just another cutthroat Corporate Bully dressed in organic, “let’s save the world”, “buy local” disguise with the shareholders in full throttle, profit taking control.
While Whole Foods is undoubtedly counting on health conscious Moms like me in the neighborhood cha-chinging away at the brand spanking new registers, let me just share with you that you won’t see The Healthy Home Economist browsing the aisles there.
I’ll be shopping at the 2 small, local healthfood stores less than a mile away where I’ve shopped for the past 15 years. That’s where my business loyalty lies.
I spend almost all my food money with local businesses and local farms. Not Whole Foods.
How could I possibly rationalize shopping at Whole Foods which has recently rolled over on the GMO issue in the United States by suggesting that we all need to “learn to live with GMO’s” by accepting the USDAs proposal for “peaceful” coexistence between organics and genetically modified foods?
Here is Whole Foods’ official statement on the matter:
The reality is that no grocery store in the United States, no matter what size or type of business, can claim they are GMO-free. While we have been and will continue to be staunch supporters of non-GMO foods, we are not going to mislead our customers with an inaccurate claim (and you should question anyone who does). Here’s why: the pervasive planting of GMO crops in the U.S. and their subsequent use in our national food supply. 93% of soy, 86% of corn, 93% of cotton, and 93% of canola seed planted in the U.S. in 2010 were genetically engineered. Since these crops are commonly present in a wide variety of foods, a GMO-free store is currently not possible in the U.S. (Unless the store sells only organic foods.)
Since the U. S. national organic standards do not allow the use of GMO ingredients and practices in the growing or production of organic foods, choosing organic is one way consumers can avoid GMO foods. The other is through labeling, of which we are strong supporters.
Hey Whole Foods, here’s a novel idea: How about selling only organic and local foods then? That would solve the problem nicely wouldn’t it?
I don’t know about you, but that statement screams “sell-out” to me. Even more damaging, Whole Foods recently endorsed the peaceful coexistence option with regard to GE alfalfa rather than an outright ban. The unrestricted planting of GE alfalfa that starts as early as this spring threatens the entire grassfeeding dairy industry over the long term as alfalfa hay is an integral part of winter feeding.
Whole Foods is all about corporate profits and management can shade it and couch it any way they like, but the message is loud and clear: corporate profit and shareholder gains are more important than sticking to the basic sustainability ideals Whole Foods was founded upon.
Do you want your neighborhood healthfood stores and farmer’s markets to suffer revenue losses from business ruthlessly stripped away by a Whole Foods coming to town?
If not, you can choose to stay away like me and treat Whole Foods like just another supermarket or Walmart: a place of last resort where budget dollars are rarely if ever spent.
Note: as of July 2012, it appears that Whole Foods is still sourcing much of its “organic” produce from China which provides further verification of the video below.
In addition, as of June 2015, Whole Foods’ new veggie rating system can rank conventional produce grown in another country ahead of organic, local produce!
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
I shop at Whole Foods at least twice a week. Their prices on organics, non-GMOs and grass-fed animal foods are better than those I find anywhere else. I don’t care that they also sell non-organics, GMOs and imported foods. I also shop at a local farm and my local farmer’s markets. I’m an educated, informed shopper, and because Whole Foods Market labels everything clearly, I easily determine which foods I wish to buy. I don’t need a babysitter in my grocery store- nor do I feel that a store should offer ONLY those foods I deem it appropriate to eat.
Thank goodness for Whole Foods… the diet I feed my family would be even more expensive and challenging to source if not for them. They’re a phenomenal store- one of the top 100 employers in the country (try comparing that to Walmart, lol) and I will continue to shop there- as I have no need to attempt to control what other people choose eat.
Let’s not act too surprised, or go overboard. I do not shop at Whole Foods. I went once. It was disorganized, extremely overpriced, had employees who were either rude, uncaring/unhelpful, and/or who were carrying on like snake oil salesmen, complete with rolled-up sleeves.
On the other hand, many small, local merchants often price-gouge and carry an insufficient inventory of merchandise, so not all such farmers or merchants are a godsend. You need to be just as cautious with them as with anyone.
Finally. I was an organic gardener as far back as 1976. This much I know to be true. Even certified organic farms cannot be certain to be delivering 100% organic produce to market or to farmers’ markets. No one can control the wind that blows insecticide from neighboring non-organic farms. Similarly, naturally flowing water may carry both insecticides abnd manmade fertilizers, which may bre drawn into growing plants from underground.
Simply put, just because it says ‘organic,’ doesn’t meant that it always is. Also, if it is grossly more expensive that non-organic, then you are being ripped off. Natural fertilizers and insect prevention cost less, not more, than mademade ones. They preserve the soil; they do not require more and more fertilizer and insecticides every year. And, as an organic gardener, I realized bountiful crops – more than my household could consume. I gave away more than we ate.
Thank you, Sarah.
I live in an RV full time, and I am a member of 7 food co-ops in the middle of the US. Wherever I go, I search for a co-op. In my experience, co-ops understand the politics of food — that’s why the “new” food co-ops were started in the ’70s, to build alliances between farmers and consumers; to promote a non-capitalistic, non-corporate cooperative business model; to eliminate the idea of profit from the distribution of food. It’s true that some co-ops have drifted from the lofty goals of their originators, but most of them are well aware of the politics of food.
If I can’t find a co-op, I find a “mom and pop” health food store. I talk to people in cafes and laundromats about where to find local eggs and produce. If I can’t find anything in the area I’m in, WalMart and Whole Foods are my choices of last resort. They are alike in many ways, including their anti-union fanaticism and their focus on profit.
I’m happy to eat a mostly plant based diet, which makes finding good food easier than if I wanted to eat processed food or meat — although I certainly eat processed food and meat from time to time.
Deborah M Hollingsworth via Facebook
would not shop there either. i do not shop at wal-mart etc. ever!
Jill Christianson Schwarz via Facebook
Did you see the expose about Whole Foods, and how they tell their employees to basically lie about whether their foods contain genetically modified ingredients or if they are outright GM foods? We all need to be sure to comment when we can, to management, to the owners, etc. Anything not saying “organic” even at Whole Foods is quite likely to contain at least GM ingredients.
Rachel Budman-Burke via Facebook
Stephanie Pruett Amuso: I wish I lived that close to a Whole Foods. I love that store! And I would never waste a penny of my money at evil Walmart so for you to compare Whole Foods to Walmart is just your narrow minded opinion.
Deb Corbitt Wilson via Facebook
“canola oil land”.
Richard Gamble via Facebook
Right on Sarah, I checked a few items I recently purchased and guess what I found, A can of 365 brand Skipjack wild tuna. PROCESSED AND PACKED IN VIETNAM I’m taking it back, shame on Whole Foods.