Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

 

190 Comments

Comments

Courtney Whitman says ...
Would you please share what the chickens diet consists of when they are not grazing? Are they ever fed corn or soy?
11/19/2012 4:15:18 PM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@COURTNEY - I would encourage you to reach out to the butcher at your local store so they can answer your question based on their local vendors. Since our products/vendors vary between regions and stores, I cannot say for all of the chicken we carry. You can find your store contact info at http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/list.
11/20/2012 11:01:04 AM CST
Jessica says ...
This is an amazing program! So helpful for consumers who care about humaine conditions for animals and want to incourage higher standars for raising food.Thank you!
11/20/2012 11:01:28 AM CST
kirsten says ...
I love it. keep selling me happy meat ill keep buying it! :)
12/17/2012 1:23:22 AM CST
Darlene says ...
These steps are very important to me and my family. I will be very excited to see Whole Foods and other suppliers get to Step #5. Thank you for caring.
01/09/2013 10:31:34 PM CST
Margaux says ...
I looked this rating system up after seeing the label on a roasted chicken @ WF. Thanks for the information. I'm curious to know what the percentage of food sold @ Whole Foods in GMO ~ I recently read that it is about 60% ~ is this true and if so are products labeled accordingly? Please don't delete this question. Thanks.
01/18/2013 3:05:57 PM CST
maria says ...
I will like to know if the chickens are given soy and/or corn in any of the levels? Also are the grass fed products (poultry, beef, pork) given any soy or corn?
01/23/2013 9:03:54 AM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@MARGAUX - Unfortunately, since our products vary between store locations, we do not have this number available for you. Since GMOs are so prevalent in the food supply, we work extremely hard to ensure that our shoppers have alternatives which include: lots of organic choices, sourcing our 365 Everyday Value products to avoid GMOs in addition to carrying thousands of Non-GMO Project verified products.
01/24/2013 4:28:28 PM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@MARIA - If an item is labeled as grass-fed, according to USDA guidelines, "grass and forage shall be the feed source consumed for the lifetime of the ruminant animal, with the exception of milk consumed prior to weaning. The diet shall be derived solely from forage consisting of grass (annual and perennial), forbs (e.g., legumes, Brassica), browse, or cereal grain crops in the vegetative (pre-grain) state. Animals cannot be fed grain or grain byproducts and must have continuous access to pasture during the growing season. Hay, haylage, baleage, silage, crop residue without grain, and other roughage sources may also be included as acceptable feed sources." Due to the prevalence of the GMOs in the commodity grain market, and the limited availability of verified non-GMO feed, we cannot require the use of only non- GMO feed for animal products (including meat, dairy and farmed fish) sold in our stores. We encourage shoppers who are looking to avoid products from animals fed GMOs to choose organic meat and dairy products (since organic standards prohibit the intentional use of GMOs).
01/25/2013 1:47:08 PM CST
Michael Kelly says ...
I am very happy that you pursue the 5-step system for your animal products. I have always known of the poor treatment that factory farm animals undergo, and for a while was vegetarian. However, being in the navy, finances and having a carnivorous wife made that life choice disappear. This week something happened that may change the way we eat. We watched the documentary Vegucated (www.getvegucated.com) about three carnivors that take a six week vegan challenge. This opened not only my wife's eyes, but also an honest discussion about how we eat. A serving size of meat (or protein) is between 3 to 4 oz and no more than 2 servings a day. We were having much more than that and less veggies, fruits and whole grains. Based on the USDA's choosemyplate.gov 2200 calorie food plan I need three cups, two cups and 7oz correspondingly. My comment is that we will be purchasing more of our animal proteins from you because of the 5 step system, but what I would like to see is more transparency in the standards required for each step. Is it possible to list these standards? Or is this a trade secret? Thanks so much, @sustainabilitst
02/06/2013 12:42:09 PM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@MICHAEL - You bet! You can see the standards for each step at http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/about-our-products/quality-standards/animal-welfare-standards. Hope this helps!
02/06/2013 4:13:45 PM CST
Rod Rucks says ...
My sister and I are in the process of buying a small farm and it will definitely be organic. Am currently reading Joel Salatin's books (third generation alternative farmer). Don't know if you've read his books or are familiar with his raising process. Don't know how this would qualify under your 5 Step program?
02/12/2013 11:11:00 AM CST
Jessica Fletcher says ...
I think that this is wonderful and very enlightening. I do all of my grocery shopping there and was just looking into a farm in New Jersey that delivers to a location for pickups. They are step 5 and I just noticed on my package that the chicken that I have been buying was only a step 2. I thought that I was doing a good thing.
02/16/2013 11:21:47 AM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@ROD - I was able to speak with our QS team and while they are aware of Joel's books/work, they base the 5-Step rating on specific criteria from the GAP. You can find the exact breakdown for each step at http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/about-our-products/quality-standards/animal-welfare-standards. Hope this helps!
02/18/2013 3:58:34 PM CST
Natalie says ...
We watched the documentary "Food Inc" last night. We will be getting our chickens from Whole Foods from now on. We believe everyone should watch the movie to understand where your food comes from. Way to go Whole Foods for making a difference!
03/19/2013 11:35:16 AM CDT
Steve Sharp says ...
Hello -- Is there anywhere in NYC where I can buy Level Three and above chicken? I frequent several of your stores in Manhattan, and never is there anything above Level Two. Please advise. Thank you, Steve
03/25/2013 7:45:50 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@STEVE - Since our vendors vary between regions and stores, have you been able to ask your local store about this?
03/29/2013 6:25:11 PM CDT
sue says ...
Where does amylu sausages get their chickens. What is their rating on the 5 step program?
03/30/2013 6:45:03 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@SUE - I would encourage you to reach out to your local store for this info. Our vendors/products vary between locations so they would be the best to find this info out for you!
04/02/2013 12:04:29 PM CDT
Jennifer Esposito says ...
I have purchased several of your organic, free range, no antibiotics or hormone, vegetarian diet whole chickens & they have been delicious. I was wondering if vegetarian diet also meant corn free? What does the diet consist of specifically? Thanks.
04/15/2013 1:40:50 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@JENNIFER - Being fed a vegetarian diet means that the animals are not fed any animal byproducts but does not imply that the feed does not contain corn. Each vendor will have specific feed for their livestock. Check with your local store to see what their vendors feed consists of.
04/15/2013 4:45:09 PM CDT
Tera says ...
This is amazing and I'm very happy that there are chickens out there that can have this kind of life. Hopefully it catches on and quickly.
05/02/2013 6:08:45 PM CDT
Cindy says ...
Thank you for posting the 5 steps. Lately I've been hearing so much about arsenic in our poultry, is this a concern we should have with Whole Foods Chickens and Turkeys?
05/15/2013 6:25:54 PM CDT
Carole Mistarka says ...
Hi, I think the program is really great. I like knowing about the welfare of the animals through the whole process of their lives. I don't want to consume animals that are distressed and mistreated and this helps to prevent that. I also like the way the step five producers are environmentally conscious on all levels. I was especially impressed with White Oak Pastures and the videos from Pitman's Farms were helpful. Thanks so much and keep up the great work.
05/15/2013 8:42:08 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@CINDY - Johns Hopkins researchers concluded that residual arsenic in chicken samples from 2010 and 2011 resulted from the use of roxarsone, a synthetic drug used to promote growth. The manufacturer suspended sales of roxarsone in the U.S. in 2011. As such, chicken sold at Whole Foods Market does not come from animals raised with roxarsone. Our comprehensive meat standards are posted online at www.wholefoodsmarket.com/meat.
05/23/2013 2:31:05 PM CDT

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