Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

 

103 Comments

Comments

JamesL says ...
I have a hard time trusting the USDA certification for US grown foods. Organic, to me, means multiple certifications OTHER THAN USDA. So when I see Organic from CHINA... I simply put the product down and find something else grown locally. Chinese Organic is an oxymoron, no matter how WFM tries to spin it. I know it's a small percentage of the overall product line, but customers feel misled and slightly betrayed when this information is brought to light. I, too, will be spending more dollars a Trader Joes and fewer dollars at WFM until WFM makes some changes in this department. Thanks for opening the discussion. I really do love WF, but this incident was an eye-opener.
03/19/2012 11:03:26 AM CDT
Hans says ...
STOP buying food from china ! Im glad I saw this article, it will surely be passed on to all I know, I thought your company was better than that. This is so unbelievable coming from Whole Foods and all that you say you stand for. It seems it always comes down to the bottom line: Greed. What hypocrites.
03/19/2012 3:19:45 PM CDT
H. Chet Bacon says ...
Personally I would like WFW to place the country of origin right on the front of the label. I never looked at the origin in WF because I ASSUMEd WFW had a unique standard. I guess I will have to ask where other food items are from, meat, chicken, fish (mostly noted already) and all other grains and cereals. I will continue to shop at WF but with a careful eye to things from now on!
03/19/2012 3:24:37 PM CDT
Ty Shlackman says ...
Why does everyone hate China? Maybe their food can't be trusted but I doubt the food from many other countries can be trusted either. You really think food from third world Latin American nations is any more trustworthy? The only reason the media tells you about unsafe food from China is because they want you to hate and fear China. At least China requires genetically modified food to be labeled unlike the USA.
03/19/2012 5:37:04 PM CDT
Susan says ...
I do not buy frozen vegetables, etc very often and would never have thought that your products would be from China. I'm glad this story has recirculated because I will check the back of all packages at your store. The story has raised concerns and I do question the integrity of your store and some of its products. I've had some concerns about the fresh produce from Mexico and won't buy it and don't understand why you sell it. I will continue to shop at WF but will be doing so with a very watchful eye on what goes in my cart. Disappointing and sadly just a sign of the times. Can't trust any chain and WF is no different.
03/20/2012 10:28:53 AM CDT
nini says ...
And the carbon footprint of food from China is about the size of the moon. Worry less about organic, and more about the air your children breathe due to unnecessary airplane traffic. You can freeze and preserve local vegetables with little effort and provide your family with not only healthier food but healthier lungs.
03/20/2012 6:49:59 PM CDT
Alec Caywood says ...
If you don't trust the organic certification from USDA Organic then you cant trust any organic label you see. Unless you grow them yourself, there is no way to verify the product label. I feel like WF has done an appropriate job in not only clarifying this issue, but also letting people know that they can check the origin of their product on the label, and they provide alternatives if you deem that origin un-trustworthy. Alec - Tulane
03/20/2012 8:33:40 PM CDT
Rob says ...
I am very disappointed in the response of WF to the outrage associated with sourcing from a country with ONGOING intentional food tainting and extremely corrupt business practices. The fact that WF has not come out to announce that they will no longer source from China speaks volumes about how much they care about their customers.
03/20/2012 9:32:59 PM CDT
Kacie says ...
First, a thank you to Whole Foods for being up front and honest about the issue. If people feel so strongly about avoiding foods from China, it's always an option. But I have to say that it's disheartening to read such hateful comments. The xenophobia is overwhelming. I mean, seriously? "China" is not one single evil entity. You might as well judge the whole of American food production based on the brilliant ethics of Monsanto or Tyson. We're just as bad when it comes to corporate corruption, and no amount of nationalistic pride will change the facts. Chinese organic is an oxymoron? Well, what about the OTCO certified Mountain Rose Herbs? They source many organic products from China, but please, *do* tell me how they - a zero waste company - are obviously greedy corporate bloodsuckers. Or is it that the Chinese are duping them? These knee-jerk reactions just reinforce the idea that America is full of fear-mongering ethnocentric bigots. Don't knock China 'til you've been there, and I don't mean on a guided tour. Because, you know, one of the hottest topics in the Chinese/Taiwanese news right now is about banning US beef imports. Mmmm... delicious irony...
03/20/2012 9:57:18 PM CDT
Maureen says ...
Since China used melamine to up the protein content in their baby formula, it killed hundreds of Chinese babies. I won't even talk about all the recalls of pet food nor the conditions under which they raise tilapia. Since I just became aware that companies can import items i.e. tilapia, do the breading and frying here and legally label it as Made in USA, I don't want any food that can't be verified as 100% USA. I was going to make my first visit to your store this weekend since I'm pretty far away, I won't bother now. Thank you for letting me know that you buy food from China; but, you have just lost my business.
03/22/2012 11:37:11 AM CDT
Melissa says ...
I agree with Leah. ...the article doesn't say that they only source from China. You still have a choice and they make it incredibly easy for you by marking the bag where the produce comes from. Like seriously. I think China's produce is the least of our worries. The reality is, however, we wouldn't need to import produce if ours actually met certain organic standards, especially the high standards of Whole Foods. We should all take a step back and consider why most countries won't import our produce and meats. Regardless, I don't think it's fair to punish hardworking Chinese farmers that are committed to quality produce and organic standards simply because their government is ripping us off. Just because someone lives in a certain country doesn't mean they represent the government of that country. They are hardworking individuals just like us.
03/24/2012 5:50:39 PM CDT
Jo Dee says ...
I find that it is harder and harder to get good quality safe food from Whole Foods, or Berkeley Bowl as the majority of their fresh food comes from Mexico, Chile or some other country. Its seems clear that they are sourcing from these countries as its more cost effective than locally grown foods, including the shipping costs, and there may not be enough locally grown food to fill their shelves etc.. Its hard to know if foods grown in foreign countries are grown safe or not - and the USDA is a watered down government agency that can't afford to get in the way of large agricultural companies and so has made the word "organic" meaningless anymore. The only hope is to find food grown by local smaller farmers who take the safety of their food seriously. Its not good enough to change the definition of "safe" to the point that we are provided food that by itself will not harm us - but won't help us either as it is often depleted of any vitamins or minerals as a result of how it was grown (hot house with GMO seeds and injected with gas to make tomatoes red etc...). I stopped shopping at Whole Foods years ago as their hype just meant that their food was more expensive - but for sometime at least it seemed the food was good - now its mainly international "organic" foods grown under very little supervision. I'm sad to say that the Berkeley Bowl seems headed down the same road. Its all farmers markets for me now.
03/30/2012 8:44:03 PM CDT
Barry Markowitz says ...
Can you guarantee that the supplements you sell are not manufactured in China, and that they do not contain any substances from China? Quality control is essentially non-existent there and products from there cannot be trusted.
04/02/2012 1:13:30 PM CDT
Megan says ...
@Barry Are you asking about our 365 brand supplements, or the entire supplement selection we carry? Please let me know and I can reach out to our experts.
04/04/2012 11:26:48 AM CDT
Laurence Hauben says ...
Given that we live in California, I really see no reason to buy produce from anywhere else. We can grow it here, it doesn't have to travel as far so it is fresher, and it is easier to monitor the integrity of the growers. As local organic farmer Michael Ableman (founder of Fairview Gardens) said to me back in 1993, "A good farmer is a good farmer. I'd rather eat a conventional carrot from around here than an organic one from three thousand miles away." It's not just about the label, it's about the people. Who's your farmer?
04/06/2012 12:48:12 AM CDT
Carolyn Echols says ...
You have got to be kidding me! I would not intentionally eat anything imported from China. It absolutely is not safe...period.
04/09/2012 12:45:46 PM CDT
steve jones says ...
Whole foods and there management has lost all credibility . ORganic from china? give me a break. This is a travesty. Zero credibility. I have been feeding my children this toxic garbage and paying premium prices for years - only bc i believed i was getting safe , high quality food. The quest for profits - trumps all. Whole foods you are an embarrassment.
04/09/2012 2:16:19 PM CDT
Nora says ...
I don't understand what kind of world we are living in today. After I've read all those comments above, I will build my own green house and grow my organic vegetables!
04/09/2012 4:26:57 PM CDT
TJ says ...
i am happy to have received the email about the News Article. I use to be so proud and happy to shop at WF - I am embarrassed now to even have a bag with the WF's logo on it! I will no longer be shopping at your store! Whole Foods is not so whole after all.
04/10/2012 4:21:52 PM CDT
Oliver says ...
I can't say your reply impresses me. If its something you can not get anywhere else, by all means, get it from China. As far as I know though, there is little to nothing that can't be grown in the US, thus buying and shipping food around the globe is stupid and wasteful. And you're not a 99ct store, shopping at WF is expensive! So I expect the highest quality and trusting that that only comes from China is a stretch of the imagination. If the food was actually produced here in the US, where wages and labor laws are - while not great - certainly better than anything in China, I'm fine with the higher price, but not if you do the Aldi dance of cheap cheap cheap. And sorry, but I don't have time to turn every package over and see where it comes from, print it big and clear on the front if you're not embarrassed, otherwise just don't offer it, ok? You're not Walmart. Sorry, but you'll see a lot less of me from here on, I'll be at the farmers market instead, where my food is fresh and not who knows how old in a plastic bag, shipped half around the globe.
04/24/2012 1:45:54 PM CDT
Lisa T. says ...
I'm very disappointed that WF feels the need to import food from China when there are plenty of US growers. China is not to be trusted. They couldn't even get pet food right a couple years ago. Sorry Whole Foods...this is where I jump off.
04/24/2012 1:52:52 PM CDT
Bonnie says ...
Are we talking about the FDA that approves of GMOs and Monsanto? I just want to know if there is another FDA that I didn't know about. LOL
05/01/2012 8:22:14 PM CDT
Chris Downs says ...
I purchase as much produce that is grown here locally at whole foods. I appreciate the fact that when I come in that the produce person knows the farmers and their land when I come in. As a Permaculture fanatic, we need to heal our land by our choices everyday. Food grown locally is the best for the people that it feeds. Inform yourself and your family about the food you eat. That is the reason when I do not grow my own, I come to whole foods. I talked to a young student who works in a store in California. you can read my visit with him at http://hisfarm.org/1593/permaculture/the-blessing-of-permaculture/. He had not even started working yet, and he had given up on being able to eat properly or make enough money to live healthy because he thought Organic food was too expensive. What is too expensive is having to pay people to practice medicine on you,using drugs and proceedures that other people may or may not have survived. You are what you eat,but you will also become what you think and speak. Take action by eating healthy and informing yourself about your permanent culture all around you. It is not permanent unless you work at it!
05/07/2012 4:24:23 PM CDT
Nancy Weber says ...
My concern is that I am attempting to utilize the few dollars I have to purchase wisely so that I am not only attempting to purchase healthy foodstuffs but am attempting to support those growers and producers in my own economic sphere, as much as possible. Why is WFs contributing to other country's economics when American producers are available? I think if something is strictly grown in another country, then is it really something we need to be eating? Health-wise I was always taught to try to eat foods when in season and in region and while there are things that people desire from other countries, purchasing them from other countries that have essentially embargoed any reciprocal exchange of goods is ludicrous at best. If we have a symbiotic relationship with another country, i.e. they purchase our goods on a par that we purchase their goods, then fine but that isn't what is occurring with regards to China. I am personally not 'anti-China' necessarily but I think we all, including WFs, needs to rethink their actions in regards to trade with them. I don't know that I would trust a system of inspection that has allowed MANY issues with their products to easily pass through to us and I certainly will not be supporting those that support the one sided trade exchange that we currently have with that or any other country with like trade agreements.
05/08/2012 9:56:01 AM CDT
Biggest Truth says ...
I'm blessed with being very near to Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, a super-elite Krogers with lots of organic items, packaged & fresh, along with 3 independent natural food markets. The only thing nice about Whole Foods is when they have a sale on certain packaged or bottled items. Then, if you buy a case, you'll save an extra 10%. WFM return policy is OK, as long as you have the receipt. Trader Joe's return policy is the best. NEVER any questions asked. Greeniac sheeple, vote with your wallet and practice what you preach. The real owners of WFM are stock shareholders who only care about their dividends. Most of them don't even know or care what organic food is.
05/20/2012 3:52:43 PM CDT

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