Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

 

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Comments

Dave Richardson says ...
I've been spending much of my grocery money at Whole Foods ever since they appeared in Portland, Oregon. No more. You can take your free-market health care and shove it, Mr. Mackey. Insurance companies denied my brother-in-law coverage because of a pre-existing condition and he wound up relying on frequent trips to the ER until he died last year before he turned 60. Your free-market system dealt him a fatal blow, Mr. Mackey. Obamacare might have saved him.
01/17/2013 4:16:17 PM CST
steve fagone says ...
John Mackey does not let his in store staff work full time, so he does not have to provide health care coverage for them. Here's a tip John, treat your employees as you would expect to be treated. Retain your talented employees by offering them full time shifts and benefits including retirement matching 401k plans. Create a culture of "Excellence"....not a culture of "At your own expense"!! Sincerely, A customer.
01/17/2013 4:16:34 PM CST
Kate O'Hara says ...
Yes, sir, it was a bad choice of words. But at least now we know that shopping at Whole Foods has been a bad choice for my family. Fortunately, we have other choices for healthy organic foods in Salt Lake. It's so ironic that someone who charges higher prices for produce and other foods on the grounds that it's better for the consumer and society would be the same person who balks at a health care system that costs a little more but is better for consumers and society. But whatever. We're so done with Whole Foods ... and we used to shop there at least 4 days a week.
01/17/2013 4:17:03 PM CST
Not insured says ...
As a woman in her mid-30's, who has been unable to find affordable individual health insurance that would cover a pregnancy, I am offended by anyone who thinks the open market system works. I will not be shopping at whole foods anymore!
01/17/2013 4:17:20 PM CST
Katie Barnett says ...
I wish companies like Whole Foods would not push political agendas. I will no longer be shopping at whole foods. This company had a reputation as an excellent employer. What I heard in the NPR interview was a man that through providing decent healthcare options to his employ's was not worth it.
01/17/2013 4:18:22 PM CST
Food Allergic Family says ...
In my family we have multiple, life-threatening food allergies. In addition, it is very important for me to provide my family with as much organic food as I can. Whole foods has monopolized the allergy-friendly and organic grocery market in my area (Northshore suburbs of Chicago). Other grocery stores cannot offer the same products at a better price because they cannot sell enough of them before they spoil, or to make it worth their while to keep them in stock. So we have to shop at Whole Foods, particularily for organic produce, dairy-free and peanut/treenut-free products. Whole Foods prices for some products are very high-- but because of our food allergies and organic preferences I have nowhere else to shop. I feel that they take advantage of customers like me-- and end up limiting access to consumers who can't afford their products. The CEO's comments really angered me. If anyone is acting like fascists it's Whole Foods. Whole Foods doesn't own all means of food production for the allergy-friendly or organic market; but it feels like they control a lot of it. I think the CEO's comments are insenstive to the health-conscience consumer, and I will be taking extra steps in my food preparation so that I don't need to rely on them as much as I have in the past.
01/17/2013 4:22:00 PM CST
nora kelly says ...
You have lost my business, Sir.
01/17/2013 4:23:08 PM CST
Scott says ...
First off the insurance is via private companies so much of what Mackey says is BS. As far as fascism getting a bum wrap in the 20th Century yes it did, I'm curious when the CEO thinks fascism was a great thing? I used to buy some items at WFM because I can walk to one and the quality is good but I'm done. After what he said last year I joined a local co-op and get most of my groceries there now but now I'll get the remaining items at Trader Joes, or one of the other local markets and not feel like a hypocrite for giving my money to a business that is clearly at odds with what I think is right and fair. Good riddance WFM.
01/17/2013 4:24:21 PM CST
Mrs. Hoover says ...
Mr. Mackey said what he meant and meant what he said. He's done so on a number of occasions over the past few years. Of course he feels healthcare is the right of those who can afford it and those who can't might as well just die. Whole Foods is overpriced and carries just as many processed foods as any other regional or national retailer. I will no longer patronize Whole Foods and urge everyone I know to do the same. Obamacare will do two things: Increase access to care and Reduce the deficeit (See the report of the CBO.) Free enterprise capitalist healthcare, as Mr. Mackey would now call it, has led to a system characterized by high costs, many tens of thousands who go without care and thousands of needless deaths annually. For the richest country the world has ever seen, one supposedly founded upon Christian values, these results are an uncionscionable evil. Be ashamed, Mr. Mackey.
01/17/2013 4:25:48 PM CST
David Damroth says ...
I am a shareholder. Please keep Mr. Mackey's comments private. They can be just as damaging to the stock value as BP's oilspill was to it's value. He has a right to speak but the extreme nature of his comments over time do not serve the interests of the company.
01/17/2013 4:26:46 PM CST
Ira Hecht says ...
Instead of fascism use Obamanible.
01/17/2013 4:28:27 PM CST
Settina says ...
I don't think you should take a stance on this. I am NOT for obama care one bit!!!!!!! I think health care needs to change. But you need to look at ALL the facts. I am pro health and I take steps to try to stay healthy. I am saddened that such smart people are making such poor choices. It makes me not want to shop with you anymore
01/17/2013 4:29:21 PM CST
Diane Navarro says ...
I always viewed Whole Foods as a progressive leader in providing consumers with a wonderful variety of organic and healthy food. I have done my weekly shopping at WF for years. I was truly shocked to hear Mr Mackey's comment regarding health care. Your comments were offensive and hateful. Sorry to say, I can no longer patronize your business.
01/17/2013 4:31:41 PM CST
David says ...
I shop at WF three or more times a week spending hundreds of dollars a week at this store. No more. I will not spend another cent until the John Mackey comes out in full support of the Affordable Care Act and even donates dollars toward the support of a public option. THE NARRATIVE OF WF BEING INTO HEALTH IS A SHAM!!! John is a pig and I will support real businesses that care about the health of their customers and their role in society!
01/17/2013 4:36:38 PM CST
YNPGal says ...
Wow.. first you allow GMOs to live quietly in the foods you sell, then the head of your company speaks what must be assumed to be what he really believes...before he realized what a fiscal, customer-angering action it was. I agree that he probably back peddled to save WF face and customers. Sadly for you guys, the GMO problem caused me to cut way back on my spending in one of my favorite stores on the planet. This guy's antics and total disconnect from what many Americans deal with...and the blatant disrespect of the office of the President... I'm officially finished and won't shop there again in the foreseen future. Bummer for me...and bummer for you.
01/17/2013 4:37:21 PM CST
Gerrit Botha says ...
Dear John Mackey, isn't the free market wonderful? Now I will never shop in your stores ever. And I'll make sure my family hears all about it.
01/17/2013 4:39:17 PM CST
Linda says ...
An explanation/apology is warranted. I think the problem is that by no means are all, or even many, corporate execs as conscious or concerned about their employees as John Mackey. And that is why the gov't. has to be involved. Left to their own devices, I suspect most execs would NOT provide any health care or even a tissue! That's certainly optimistic of Mr. Mackey to think we should entrust corporations with caring for employees.
01/17/2013 4:40:58 PM CST
colleen Gilgenbach says ...
Competitive health care and insurance in general is far too expensive. A third of our income goes to insurance (and that is with HIGH deductibles). We have never made a claim. On top of this they do not cover any alternative or homeopathic choices. Hmmm, another third goes to Whole Foods. I don't like the Obamacare program just because it still leaves us with very high profit insurance companies, highly expensive costs to medical facilities to process those insurance forms that the insurance companies very seldom just pay for so there is more charges to refile, and constant irritation. Free enterprise is NOT serving us well in terms of healthcare. I would say Mackey, like most corporative executives is more into profit than quality of life.
01/17/2013 4:42:14 PM CST
Laurie says ...
Sorry, but I think someone in your position should be able to recognize what the word "fascism" connotes before a public outcry causes you to reconsider. Presumably, you thought the word choice would help sell your book. Speaking as someone whose child cannot rely on the existing free enterprise system to provide adequate healthcare without bankrupting him, I couldn't disagree with you more. But I do agree that the free enterprise system works in some cases and I believe you will find that customers our family will chose to our shopping elsewhere.
01/17/2013 4:44:42 PM CST
Russ Stromberg says ...
Sorry, John. You have a big league job. I refuse to return to Whole Foods so long as you are the CEO. You are responsible for brand management, which to me is now a manipulative lie so long as your hand is on the wheel. Second, this country spoke - and you know full well liberals love your brand. Your customers chose the path that we want to take care of millions of uninsured Americans now. Exactly when was the free enterprise alternative going to solve that problem??? WFM is publicly held, accountable for quarterly and yearly results by its stockholders. Our society is accountable to its citizenry. The majority shareholders, if you will, in USA voted for Obamacare. Your only words should be, "Our customers and the shareholders of this nation have spoken. I embrace the direction this country has chosen to head and WFM will join the effort to make sure its employees are fully covered."
01/17/2013 4:45:58 PM CST
Joan Friedenberg says ...
Your unfortunate use of "Fascism" was the least of your faults. You claimed that The Affordable Care Act forces DOCTORS to offer certain services when in reality it forces INSURANCE companies to offer certain services. You claim to favor the Swiss model of healthcare. The Affordable Care Act was modeled on the Swiss one and the main difference is that insurance companies in Switzerland must be NON-PROFIT! Thats what you want? Really? Me, too!
01/17/2013 4:47:48 PM CST
Terrence Feirer says ...
You have lost all my families business, all seven families, and most, if not all my friends over John Mackey's choice of a word. Backtracking once it is out there is pure BS.
01/17/2013 4:49:59 PM CST
John Siena says ...
Basically, what you are saying is that - actually - you want no insurance for the poorest people or those with pre-existing conditions, and that they can all go hang as far as you are concerned. You are actually saying this because in the real world, the public option was never going to happen: as a result, the only alternative, therefore, was doing nothing, which seems to suit you just fine. That's the reality, whether you want to admit it or not. And all of this is despite the fact that Obama-care was a Republican idea: with a Democrat president pushing it, it became intolerable. Sorry, the hypocrisy is just too much - twenty years of loyalty. Gone. Well done.
01/17/2013 4:50:04 PM CST
Beth Hammer says ...
You may have chosen the "wrong" word but I will not. I will NOT shop at Whole Foods any more. I refuse to give any money to your ilk. And I hope that many of my friends and neighbors will also join me in NOT shopping at Whloe Foods. Beth Hammer
01/17/2013 4:52:14 PM CST
Greg Lemon says ...
You know what they say a gaffe is in Washington. When a politician says what he really thinks. This is what John Mackey did today on NPR this morning. This is the same guy that hid in Yahoo investor chat rooms under a false ID and pumped up his stock. He really believes Obamacare is facism, although lord knows how he gets from here to there. Then the nonsense about worrying about American's health. Well, not exactly. He is worried about what they eat, not their health. If he were genuinely concerned about the health of Americans, he couldnt sleep at night while 50 million of his fellow citizens, including millions of children, go to bed without health care. We are the ONLY civilized country on the planet with universal health care, regardless of how its provided. Mackey says dont worry, I will take care of my employees. Even if this paternalism were true, what about the guy across the street who couldnt care less about his employees? Shame on you John Mackey, for abandoning your principles in pursuit of growth for the sake of what? Personal wealth? Fame? Surely not the kind of legacy that Michael Pollan will leave. Shame on you John Mackey, for your hypocrisy. Now, will you have the guts to publish this? Or will your underlings squash it.
01/17/2013 4:54:34 PM CST

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