119 Comments

Comments

Molly Mackey says ...
Hello John Mackey, My name is Molly Mackey. I live in London and my dad shares your name! I look forward to the opening of your Kensington High Street Store. Molly
09/15/2006 8:46:32 AM CDT
Gordon says ...
Mr. Mackey, I want to add my appreciation for all that Whole Foods has done. I've shopped at your stores (and its predecesors) for 10 years and I believe you have truly elevated the awareness of foods -- at the industry and consumer levels -- in this country. I am now in the exact middle of Mr. Pollan's book but I don't believe he recognizes the logistical/practical challenges relating to distribution that WF has overcome. Further, he doesn't give your store enough credit for positive social change - competitors like Wal-Mart are surely getting into the organics market due to your success. Whole Foods is also changing society by making organics within the financial reach of more people (still not the average joe but the best you can). I live in Washington DC and often start the week's grocery shopping at some of the excellent producer-only farmers' markets run by freshfarmmarket.org. My family is fortunate to have the financial resources to buy direct from farmers but products are often 2x the price of WF and 3x the price of a conventional grocery market. As an example, yesterday (9/14) I purchased a dozen grass-fed eggs from Cibola Farms for $5.50/dozen. Cibola also sells free-range, grass-fed chicken breast for $10/pound. A dairy (I believe Blue Highland Dairy) sells milk from local, grass-fed cows for approx $6 per half gallon. I don't blame the farmers for the high prices but it is far out of reach for the ordinary consumer, college students, etc. Instead, WF is actually using its size and efficiencies to improve, and lower the prices in, the organics market. In terms of globalization, people must realize that their palates/demands are the primary reason produce is flown in. Staples in our household include bananas, grapes, and pineapples, which are impossible to grow in Washington DC. The globalization of food (like most of our other commodities) is a necessary and positive force for consumers and suppliers. Whole Foods has moved the grocery industry and consumer thinking an immeasurable amount. Bravo to Mr. Mackey and all the wonderful WF employees!
09/15/2006 1:09:02 PM CDT
Linda Y says ...
What a GREAT dialog! I was very intrigued to read that WF hired an "animal compassionate" field buyer. It is equally intriguing that Mr. Mackey is vegan yet WF is embarking on this 'new' venture of compassion when selecting slaughtered animals for sale in his stores. When I 'Vegan-ized' my lifestyle over 10 years ago, I did so to prevent contribution to any animal killing for human use or consumption. More recently I've committed to the larger picture of an environmentally sustainable lifestyle. I have a long way to go and it can be very difficult and expensive at times but it is worth it to me knowing my hard-earned dollars support companies who share my same values. I hope one day to shop at a large specialty store void of any slaughtered animals or animal byproducts. As an Austin-born gal, this may seem odd to some but even a native Texan, raised on grass-fed beef, can dream to 'shop large' in a truly compassionate way, absent of dead animals!
09/19/2006 9:27:12 PM CDT
John Mackey says ...
Hi Everyone, Several people (including Michael Pollan) have asked what is the exact percentage of local produce we sell. I previously answered this question by saying that we didn't have this information available yet, but we were working to get it. Now we've got it. In 2005, 12.95% of the produce bought in our stores was locally sourced. So far in 2006 the percentage has increased to 14.85%. Translated into retail sales, we will sell more than $100 million worth of local produce in 2006. With our greater focus on local produce going forward, I expect the percentage of locally sourced produce to continue to go up. It will probably be close to 20% in 2007, with total local produce sales approximately equal to $200 million of $1 billion in total produce sales. John
09/20/2006 4:38:38 PM CDT
Obie Pressman says ...
Mr. Mackey, First, let me say how impressed I am by this blog and your willingness to leave it relatively open and uncensored. It speaks volumes about your ultimate intentions and desires. Second, I read “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” and was utterly engaged and moved by it, in fact it changed how I eat (not radically though, as I already did a lot of my shopping at farmer’s markets and the like). A couple of years ago I mostly stopped shopping at Whole Foods because I couldn’t help but wonder how “good” could it really be if it’s a publicly traded corporation and beholden to its stock holders. Pollan’s book more or less reconfirmed my suspicions. However, your public dialogue with Pollan and your stated intentions in this blog have reaffirmed my faith in Whole Foods, and I have begun occasionally shopping there again with a watchful eye. Kudos. However, there’s an issue in this blog that I still feel you are dodging, by giving answers based literally on what your customers are asking, rather than providing them with slightly different information that Whole Foods must have on hand. I’ll quote your last exchange in regards to this question: “People keep making the same criticism about my not answering Michael Pollan's question about the actual percentage of local produce sold in our stores. I answered this question on this board back on July 19. I'll repeat the answer here again: “We don't know the exact percentage of local produce we sell in our stores. Produce that is bought locally doesn't have the same tracking mechanisms established that nationally sourced produce does. We know how many produce suppliers we have that are local, but we don't know exactly how much we are selling from each one because that information doesn't roll up. We don't have the "categories" currently established to track local versus national or global. This is an Information Systems challenge that we are working to correct.”” I’m going to word the question a little differently. What percentage of Whole Food’s payments, as a total dollar amount, goes to local produce suppliers and what percentage of Whole Food’s payments, as a total dollar amount, goes to national or global produce supplies? If you really want to blow my mind and give me full faith in Whole Foods, give a straight answer to that question.
09/20/2006 8:37:47 PM CDT
Obie Pressman says ...
Well, It seems you answered the overall question right when I was making my post, making my reworded question moot. Thank you. I salute your honesty and integrity Mr. Mackey and you have indeed given me faith in Whole Foods, which is how you’ve gotten my business. Keep it up and I’ll keep coming back.
09/21/2006 12:33:15 PM CDT
Ian says ...
Hi John, I recently finished reading the Omnivore's Dilemma, and since then have been ruminating on his assertion that "grass-fed beef" is the best way to repair ruined farmland in the US. As you know, Michael Pollan explains that a system of agriculture based upon "grass-fed beef" mimics the original "grass-fed bison" ecosystem that covered much of the US until the introduction of European agriculture, which in turn transformed after WWII into the fossil-fuel based cereal (and particularly corn) monocultures we have today. Mr. Pollan refers to this latter system as "industrial agriculture". As all participants in this forum are aware, these intensive monocultures of cereal grains (which are descendants of annual grasses) require enormous inputs of fuel, pesticides/herbicides/fungicides, and fertilizers. However, perennial grasses when grazed by herbivores (and fertilized by their dung) need virtually none of these (ultimately) fossil-fuel based inputs. My concern is that Mr. Pollan, despite his experiences slaughtering chickens at Polyface Farm and later on shooting a pig, remains a committed omnivore. (Perhaps he was persuaded by Joel Salatin's assertion that it's OK to slaughter chickens because they don't have souls?) Therefore for him it's no problem to be a strong advocate of perennial grass-based farming. However, I note that you are, like myself and many of the contributors to this forum, a vegetarian. I wonder therefore what your vision of sustainable agriculture in the US is? I know that you are a businessman, and you have to deliver what the market wants, but just suppose for a moment that more people in the US (as has been happening in the UK for many years now) start to switch to less meat-intense diets? And not for health reasons but for ethical reasons? In your experience is it possible to farm grains, pulses, beans, vegetables etc. (and, what the heck, a few chickens!) sustainably on a large scale in the US without mining the soil? Before the Europeans arrived in the Americas, for example, were the Indians able to farm corn and beans sustainably on a large scale? If not, it seems that this country is doomed to continue with a system of agriculture that slaughters vast numbers of animals, whether it is based on "grass-fed beef" or "fossil-fuel fed corn". Best wishes, Ian
09/22/2006 2:03:54 AM CDT
Ian says ...
One other thing. In the Omnivore's Dilemma, Michael Pollan compares Whole Foods with Walmart, implying that the former is a giant corporation like the latter. Whole Foods is indeed a US Fortune 500 company, but is still tiny in comparison to Walmart. If you look at the Fortune web site, you'll see that in terms of revenues, profits or assets, Walmart is 60 to 80 times bigger than Whole Foods. Walmart: #2 on the Fortune GLOBAL 500 list of companies Figures for fiscal year ended Jan. 31, 2006, USD Revenues: 315,654,000,000 Profits: 11,231,000,000 Assets: 138,187,000,000 Whole Foods: #449 on the Fortune 500 (US only) list of companies: Figures for fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2005, USD Revenues: 4,701,300,000 Profits: 136,400,000 Assets: 1,889,300,000
09/22/2006 1:36:26 PM CDT
Smari says ...
I commend both Mr. Mackey and Mr. Pollan for this discussion and keeping it public. I think something truly revolutionary could come as a result and we need that right now. Smari
09/29/2006 8:53:44 AM CDT
James McArthur says ...
I've been a regular Whole Foods customer since you opened your first Toronto store a few years ago. In very many respects, I think John and his team have helped create the best 'convenient' way to buy organic or natural foods; and I thank them, as there are few if any comparable choices in the Canadian (or at least Toronto) market place. There is only 1 independent organic supermarket in Toronto. It has more limited hours and selection than Whole Foods, and is therefore not always the easiest choice to make. If not for Whole Foods, I would be stuck shopping at big chains, whose focus is far from the Organic and Natural, even as they do stock more of these types of products (most likely to defend market share against Whole Foods) I do, however, have two concerns about Whole Foods, which tie to this discussion. One is the 'affordability' of organics. I certainly support, and am lucky to be able to afford to buy organics. Though not everyone is so lucky. As such, I very much appreciate Whole Foods committment to value-based, organics being on offer, in the form of the 365 product line. Good luck finding most of those products in Ontario stores though. Where I am told by store staff that Whole Foods, five years on, can't get bilinugal labels (English and French), allowing these products to be easily sold, north of the border. If Whole Foods is really committed to making organics affordable for the everyday consumer (while protecting values), I think this should be remedied. Also, much has been discussed here about 'local production'...; but in Ontario there is no '365 Organic Butter' because Whole Foods so far hasn't been willing or able to source this product locally (which is a legal requirement in Canada for dairy). Overall, I think Whole Foods has been a boon for the consciencious consumer, but I am very much looking forward to seeing it strengthen that committment further. James McArthur Toronto, Canada
10/02/2006 9:43:13 AM CDT
Dennis Boatright says ...
Kudos to all. Such a great exchange of ideas. I shop at Wholefoods because I like the "energy" there. Is this too "new-agey"? I hope so. Frequently, in my distressed life, I find it supportive to spend my dime at a place that works for the enhancement of all concerned AND the planet. It is a kind of refuge for me and I physically and psychically "feel" the change when I enter a store. They're doing many things right. You can't fake this stuff. DB Dallas
10/04/2006 2:58:40 PM CDT
Mark says ...
Great discussion! :-)
10/08/2006 5:14:31 PM CDT
Grant DiCianni says ...
John, Like many others I stumbled on this section of the site while looking to see if I could find any info on if a store was coming to my area. After reading the majority of the posts I would like to offer something that takes the discussion from the world of theory and high ideals down to a more everyday level of reality. As someone who's diet is 80-90% organic (sorry I love a good pizza) I have to strongly commend WF for making a great line of organic products available. Truthfully, I do not really concern myself with "carbon footprints" or "assisting developing world farmers". While those are lofty goals, I am more concerned with the ability to buy quality organic products at a reasonable price (by the way, WF needs to work a little bit on that last part). Without question your comment in a past response is accurate, who is doing more then WF to make the above goals a reality? Clearly WF is at the forefront of the effort and is to be lauded for its progress and success. However, I would like to encourage WF in 3 areas: 1. Continuity of product offering. As a frequent traveler one of the first things I do when I check into my hotel is to try to find if there is a Whole Foods nearby so I don't completely derail my diet while traveling. What I have found is that there is a surprising lack of consistency between the offerings of stores (sometimes that's true even of stores that are in the same general market, like Southern California). As an example, I normally shop at the San Diego Store (even though I live 65 miles away). During my recent trip to San Jose, the store there had almost no raw milk cheeses, almost entirely different diary selections, about 75% fewer brands of bottled water, a bakery section about 2 times as big as normal, entirely different hot lunch selections and completely different chips, pretzels etc.) I understand that variance is driven by demographics and is a very crucial component to a diverse marketing strategy but one of the benefits of nationwide brands is that, within limits, the same services/core product line should be available in all stores. Now, I am not using one instance as a definitive example. These observations have been repeated, at differing levels, at stores in IL, NM, CA and elsewhere. I understand there are variances in availability and store space but I would encourage WF to create/enforce a "core" product line that the customer can be assured is always available across the country. (and no, I am not referring to the 365 brand... I have strong reservations about "house" brands in general and yours in specific, since the tendency at many of WF's I have been to seems to be to discontinue smaller brands in favor of the 365) 2. I have to strongly echo the comments of another poster earlier in this board in regard to the availability of produce within California. I am very frustrated at the lack of Organic produce (particularly fruits) that are available (or more often then not, "not" available) in California stores. I routinely find that at the beginning and end of a produce items "season" the CA stores do not have access to it with the rationale that it is "not available". Yet when I travel to the WF store in Albuquerque I see the exact strawberries or mushrooms or peaches that I was looking for and the sticker says "grown in California". If it was grown in California, how come WF customers in NM can get it but customers in CA can not? Doesn't that defeat the entire concept of local growers and minimizing the travel distance for perishable produce? 3. I would like to see a bit more discernment in the brands that are allowed into the WF stores. In southern CA there is another chain of organic themed grocery stores. In the past when I have shopped there it is very obvious that they have aggressively screened their products for quality (even the organic ones). I remember several times when I would ask for a particular item (i.e. Cream of chicken soup) and then the clerk would go in back to ask and then the store manager would come out and explain that the chain had made the decision not to carry that item, brand, etc b/c of... Repeated experiences of that with clear, rational explanations made me very confident that I could shop with an increased level of safety regardless of how familiar I was with the particular brand on the shelf. I do not find that same experience to be true at WF. There are several brands/items which I see on the shelf even though they do not come anywhere near being a high quality product (organic or otherwise). Some examples can be found in the baked goods and frozen sections. (and no, I am not "anti-Horizon" or anything like that) :)It would just be great to see WF impose a more strict quality standard on the brands and items that it allows into its stores. While I do not claim to be an expert on the entire WF offerings, we spend about 6-7 hours a month shopping at your stores over the last 5-6 years so I am fairly confident I have seen a lot of what you have to offer :). 4. Last but not least please do not ever decrease the offering of gourmet products! WF is about the only place that you can get a Raw Smoked Swiss cheese or an all natural Pumpkin Tartlet! Even us organic people need a treat now and again! Please don't take this post as being negative against WF. It's a rare occasion when a customer has the opportunity to direct a communication to the head of a company with any expectation that it will actually be read, let alone in a forum where it is very clear that you are most actively and honestly addressing these posts. I am genuinely thankful for having such a committed and excellent grocer to shop at. I just would hate to see WF stop at 80% of what it should be. Rather than a list of criticism I see the above as specific opportunities for WF to refine its model to truly offer the customer the best shopping experience possible, thus benefiting itself and the customer. Now for the really important part... what would it take to get a WF in the Inland Empire of Ca (Temecula, Murrietta, etc)? We have a great demographic for your brand and we have stores 65 miles to the south and 90 miles to the north. Need to put one between those two please! -grant dicianni
10/11/2006 6:00:26 AM CDT
Tatjana says ...
Mr.Mackey, I find one statement of yours crucial in this blog, and it is about "we have grown rich enough to be able to change these horrible practices". Congratulations, Mr.Mackey on not having lost sight of the vision that you founded your business on, on keeping focus on the larger good amidst the everyday meetings, statistcs, numbers, etc. I have every confidence about the bright future for your business. I am not from the US, but have spent some time in the US, and I also like your statement about acquiring the produce globally (unlike most people on this blog, which I can understand, in part). Here in Eastern Europe, most of our organic produce is shipped to the Western markets. Without Western markets there would be no (or very little) organic farming in my country, so I have to thank you for supporting our farmers and the environment. What happens in "poorer" countries which generally do not have enough money to spend on environment, you also plant an idea that enviromentally-friendly programs are profitable, so you introduce a revolutionary idea, before the country as a whole is even ready for it. Thank you and my respect!
10/20/2006 7:21:43 AM CDT
Mikeal Palulis says ...
John et al, I found this blog completely by accident, while reading an article on Motley Fool. This points out one of the major issues that I have. I have learned more in the last 2 days as I read this discussion about the variety of Beef and it's sources than I have in the 2+ years I've been a meat team member or the 9 years I've been employed by WFMI. There has been a breakdown in education and communication since the adoption of EVA as a core business practice. We, the rank and file TM's, are the first line of interaction with those who are most likely to criticize you and the company. Yet, we very often don't have the information available to us in any easy way. Those things said, I applaud our intent to increase our local product, and quite often choose to buy it. The definition of local does need some clarification, but closer is better for fresh foods. I would like to see more animal products labeled with their origins, but I can see where that could be difficult. And a short comment to the poster who said WF had stopped giving stock options to the rank and file... Not true! The way they are granted changed, but we all still get them. Thanks for having this discourse availible. If you would like to speak with me more, feel free to contact me, or stop by the Prospect St Store. I'm there quite often! Mikeal
10/26/2006 12:10:50 PM CDT
Susannah says ...
I have been working on a research project on exactly this subject and have come across a number of publications with similar concerns as Mr. Pollans. I find Mr. Mackeys comments on helping the poor farmers in poor countries by buying their produce condescending and uninformed. Free trade agreements imposed on developing nations by the WTO and others are incredibly crippling to local economies and small farmers. First thing they are instructed to do is to devote their land to growing gigantic monocrops for export markets which leaves the majority poor and without suitable food to feed their families. These countries are sought after by large transnational corporations because they provide low cost labour and often have minimum environmental and governmental interference in big business dealings. Because we all seem to like numbers so much here's an interesting figure, 70% of the world's hungriest live in rural areas. If these farmers were really making money off their trade I doubt this number would be so high. As Mr Mackey pointed out, farmers are in fact being poisoned by pesticides in these countries but it's because they drink it in utter despair for being unable to provide for their families. What these people should be growing is food for their families and local communities and not depending on minute returns for crops that they have been instructed to grow. Then heavily subsidized international imports are dumped on their markets either under the guise of food aid or surpluses, which makes it increasingly difficult for the farmers that are trying to make a living within their local communities. I strongly believe that a food system designed to make a profit has no interest in feeding the world, only a handful of rich. This is why co-ops are established and this is why as Mr.Mackey stated they have not succeeded to the level of his chain, many have no desire to. I strongly urge you all to seek out documentaries such as "Life in Debt" and "Darwin's Nightmare". These two films clearly illustrate the destruction that free markets can wreak on a country. I find it interesting also that the subject has come up about the lack of local produce to be found in California. That is because it all comes here to Canada where I am! 85 to 90% of organic produce sold in Canada comes from the US.(and I now a lot of local organic growers struggling to make a living). So Imagine now that this is the same story for most of the developing world and they do not have the bounty of $$ to fall back on. Some references: Laura Carlsen "The world needs its small farmers"www.americaspolicy.org Vijay Cuddeford "When Organic goes Mainstream" www.certifiedorganic.bc.ca/rcbtoa/services/organics-mainstream.html (this website offers links to many more intersting articles etc) I do appreciate the popularity and spread of organic products and support and encourage it, I just hope we don't lose scope and let a number of corporations use it as another trend to cash in on. I do not suggest this is the intention of WF. I feel that we as consumers have a responsibility to look at the true cost at every level of our purchasing choices. Mr. Mackey, keep up the open dialogue! Susannah Murphy, Nova Scotia Canada
11/16/2006 2:01:02 PM CST
Dan Deans says ...
On August 27 I warned that the threat to the organic industry was not WFM, but the big corporate players like Wal Mart. This week, the Cornucopia Institute, an activist group representing small farmers, filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture that accuses Wal-Mart of incorrectly labeling or otherwise misrepresenting various products as organic in some stores. Visiting a dozen stores in four Midwestern states, the group found several troubling misrepresentations. In one case, "all-natural" yogurt was labeled organic; in several stores, non-organic products were residing in an organic-designated cooler. "We live and die by the reputation of the organic label," says Cornucopia cofounder and organic farmer Mark Kastel. "If Wal-Mart cheapens it, we all lose." Wal-Mart pooh-poohed the accusations and defended its organic offerings. Nevertheless, the USDA has opened an investigation into the retailer's organic-labeling practices; violations of labeling standards can carry a fine of $10,000 per instance. Enough said.
11/18/2006 10:30:24 AM CST
Indira Pradhan says ...
Regarding Horizon Dairy products and milk I read this morning morning an exchange between NewsTarget.com's Mike Adams and Ronnie Cummings, National Director of the Organic Consumers Association. Here's what Ronnie has to say apart from other many other notable things about Horizon Organics and it's parent company Dean.Below is a small excerpt of their exchange: Mike(Adams): Is it fair to say, Ronnie, that the organic-labeled Horizon Milk on the shelves in Wal-Mart right now comes, at least in part, from cows that were at one point in their lives fed blood, manure, chicken litter and some other things you mentioned? Is that accurate? Ronnie: Yes, half of Horizon Organic's milk today comes from these factory dairy feedlots. One hundred percent of Aurora Organic's milk comes from these factory dairy feedlots. It is cheaper to not buy organic calves that have been raised from birth on an organic farm, but to buy conventional calves that have been raised as cheaply as possible on a conventional farm. The routine practice today on a conventional farm is feeding the animals blood plasma as a milk replacer. You feed them genetically engineered grains, slaughterhouse waste, and chicken manure. That is industry standard. Why? You can make more money doing it that way. For the full exchange on this topic you can go to http://www.newstarget.com/021186.html As for Horizon products and Dean Foods, the conglomerate that bought it out, if you read what is said about them in the above url, it might make you change your mind regarding using Horizon as your suppier for dairy products. You also said in an earlier blog: "Interestingly enough, none of the accusers have ever actually visited Horizon’s Idaho facility..." but I think visiting one Horizon farm in Idaho is perhaps not sufficient to give the company a clean slate.Apparently, The Cornucopia did visit some of these Horizon and other organic farms: Below from the same conversation between Mike Adam and Ronnie. Ronnie: "It was called to our attention by a watchdog organization called The Cornucopia Institute, which actually visited some of these factory-style dairy farms that Horizon and Aurora call organic. They witnessed firsthand things like a farm where there are 4,000 animals, but only a few hundred acres of pasture. You cannot possibly pasture animals on that little pasture, especially when they are in semi-arid parts of Idaho, Colorado and West Texas." I am an avid and a serious shopper at Wholefoods and do all my grocery shopping at your Columbus, Ohio store. Most of my friends also shop here. I do hope you will diligently address the Horizon Dairy problem in the interest of consumers like me and millions of others who have put so much of trust in your company. Incidently, there seems to be some negative reports also on SILK, the organic soy milk also bought up by the giant conglomerate DEAN. Thanks, Sincerely, Indira Pradhan
11/29/2006 11:43:21 AM CST
Eric Brown says ...
I have to share Mr. Pollan's skepticism of Mr. Mackey's commitment to local agriculture and to diversified family farms. I say this as a current small farmer and a former Whole Foods employee of about three years. One thing I can definitely say in favor of Whole Foods is that the corporate structure is, especially by comparison to other corporations, truly egalitarian. I can only offer very high praise for that structure and the open communication between employees that it allows. Unfortunately, that corporate openness opened my eyes to some of the ugly realities of Whole Food's compromises to the capitalist system. I think Pollan's most important criticism is of Whole Food's weak leadership, especially in the recent past. I imagine, for instance, that Whole Foods would like to avoid being open and honest with its customers about its model of shipping local North Carolina produce (whatever local produce it sells in the first place) to its distribution center in Georgia and back. Is this a winning strategy for providing the "fresh" and "local" produce that many customers want? Clearly this distribution model is serving other objectives. I had the honor of speaking to Mr. Mackey once as an employee. I appreciate his willingness to talk to me as an employee tremendously, but I was less than impressed with his answers to my questions. I asked him what Whole Food's commitment was to local agriculture. (This was in North Carolina.) He cited the new Artisan Food Crafters program, and gave me as an example a pasta producer in Tuscany. I replied, what about the local community, what about green spaces, local farms, etc. He said local farms often just couldn't "deliver value" or some such euphamism for generating corporate profit. If Whole Foods is going to be a leader, it's going to have to lead people to the value of local farms instead of following corporate profit wherever that leads. I suspect Whole Foods hasn't gotten too big and too corporate for the kinds of significant, positive things I'd like to see, though.
12/12/2006 12:31:44 PM CST
Mike says ...
John, Your transparency is impressive. Thanks for posting the numbers on local produce as a percent of total sales revenue. You are, however, guilty of the same thing you accused Pollan of. Define your terms. Is local 50 miles? 100 miles? 250 miles?
12/20/2006 12:42:43 PM CST
Sally Allen says ...
I sure hope that everyone that has something to say is at least growing tomatoes for themselves...you know what I mean? God Bless the farmer. Peace,Sally
01/02/2007 10:07:20 PM CST
Sara in Fairfax VA says ...
I am new to the organic and ethical food revolution (thanks to Jane Goodall and Michael Pollin) and am very encouraged to see this kind of dialog transpiring, quite literally, all over the place. I encourage Whole Foods to a) continue to develop their local food markets and continue their ethically treated farm animal program (why is Horizon dairy still on your shelves though...?) and b) try to resist the lure of capitalist greed in the name of corporate success; I encourage authors and journalists to follow this revolution and keep the progress transparent, and I encourage all of you who are reading this or taking the time to post to continue consumer advocacy in our respective locals markets to advance the age of environmental, sustainable and ethical relationships to our food and our planet.
01/19/2007 10:43:48 AM CST
Taylor A. says ...
Hi, There are many whole foods I have seen open their doors in the West Los Angeles area since the early 90's when I was a young boy and Ms Gooch's disappeared. I am satisfied overall with the direction of this company, my only suggestions would be; *to open smaller stores specializing in produce in low income areas (near distribution centers) *more local, small scale organic / bio-dynamic * to encourage less packaging, and biodegradable when possible. Thank You for your time
01/24/2007 4:53:34 PM CST
tamara says ...
i am so grateful to have come across this forum. i find it extremely encouraging that this dialog can take place without ego, in the interest of WFM customers, the soil in this country and the welfare of the animals we consume. i don't know anymore what is seasonal and what is not. these are things my parents know, and i only have a very small grasp of. i read one comment that food should be labeled where it comes from, and i agree one hundred percent. unfortunately, due to larger supermarkets (even though my mom and i shopped at the co-op when i was growing up) i have become accustomed to getting whatever food i want no matter what the season. i would be happy to shop strictly according to season, but to be honest, i don't even know what that means anymore. (i'm not a complete idiot, i know not to buy strawberries in winter, etc) i think whole foods can indeed (whilst still supporting farmers in argentina) lead the way in how we buy our food. in fact, wfm is the only avenue i can think of that has any hope of doing so. thank you for your continued commitment to making this world a better place. and ps, i also agree, lets try to use less packaging. i live in europe, and we have plastic that is biodegradable. and the food origin is also labeled, which has helped me immensely with my decisions.
02/06/2007 11:02:06 AM CST
Shirley C. says ...
I almost don't understand why it's a big deal that Whole Foods feels like its been villified in Pollan's book. I think, while what Pollan coins "industrial organic" is only logical because any agricultural business needs to supply the demand, most people DO vision their organic produce as products of the pastoral green farm and the small business farmer. I never liked Cascadian farms, but I'd buy it if that was the only label offered. I don't think Whole Foods' reputation was damaged in any direct way. Pollan wrote a good book and he's an acclaimed writer. Whole Foods is a chain with a good, solid reputation. Should'nt that be all that matters?
02/06/2007 2:45:42 PM CST

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