Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

 

91 Comments

Comments

Kelly says ...
@Vince, Vince I agree control does need to be taken back of our food supply. But I think it is the farmer who needs to take back control. Right now farmers are doing what big companies and the government are telling them to do so they can survive. They think it is the only way. If farmers cut out all the middle people and sold directly to the consumer it would be a much better system. The consumer could find out the what's and how's of their food and even go directly to the farm if they wanted! Consumers need to stop just looking at the words 'organic' and 'free range' and all the other hot new words out there. They need to go directly to the farmers and ask the questions to find out what is best for them. Because there are a lot of farmers out there that grow their products to near organic standards but either don't go through the process to be certified or are missing minor things to be considered. This does not mean there food is any less healthy. It also costs money to become certified and usually yearly fees to keep the certification. I also would like to put this out there...what is better for our environment and health? Organic food from a store where it has traveled hundreds of miles OR fresh grown food from a farmer 50 miles (or closer) away? Just because it does not say organic does not mean it is not extremely healthy! Farmers need to get their voices out there. Right now the industry gets a bad name and the voices out there and let the public know what farming is really about and that we are not all like the big factory farms!
08/20/2009 11:56:18 AM CDT
Ryan says ...
Dear Rachael, I have seen Food, Inc. and I have now read your "rigorous standards." While I greatly prefer Whole Foods to other mainstream grocery stores, these standards leave me quite unsatisfied. The gross ambiguity in these rules, can only relegate them to a position of placation in contrast to genuine industrial transformation. Whole Foods needs to make a stand with their shoppers. We're there, and we're ready to help you out. You need to make transparent food processing a hallmark of your organization. If this happens we will do all we can to help out. The farmers will be more apt to work with you and genuine transformation may begin. Thank you, Ryan
09/07/2009 2:00:23 PM CDT
Kristin Zaal says ...
Hi, I watched Food Inc. last night and went online looking for responses to the film. That is great that you have an educational program to teach people about healthy eating and how to shop on a budget, but I was thinking that it could go further. Does Whole Food Market accept food stamps? Is there a way to make natural foods affordable to people like the family in the film? How can we help families like this understand that if they spend their money on healthy foods, they won't need the diabetes medicine anymore. How could Whole Foods Market make your educational program accessable to those who need it? Could you target schools? Do you do anything like this? I would be very interested to know as I think it would be a wonderful thing!
01/09/2010 7:49:41 AM CST
Katherine O. says ...
Rachael, First: As of late the labels on my Silk containers no longer say Organic they say All Natural. By all accounts bacillus thuringiensis, the bacteria bred into GMO’s by Monsanto Corp. are all natural. It's a naturally occurring soil bacterium that kills and mutates insects that make the mistake of ingesting it. The word organic appearing on this container would ease my mind, but it's gone. The worst part is I never noticed the change one day it said organic and one day natural. This and the fact that there is so much evidence stacked up against Silk through The Cornucopia Institute I only have one question. WHY IS WHOLE FOODS STILL SELLING SILK? Second: I have a few serious issues with you’re quickness to defend Silk brand soymilk and tell your customers we are misinformed. You are defending Dean Foods not White Wave. The current question is weather Dean's buyout has resulted in Silk now being made with GMO soy and soy from China. How dare Whole Foods defend Dean? Have you forgotten your roots? Yes you have many contracts tying you to them including Horizon Organic Milk (made by Dean) but continuing to sell Silk soymilk that is genetically engineered with bacillus thuringiensis and soy bathed in Hexane (a byproduct of gasoline) is immoral. You are supposed to be saving us from this type of danger not poisoning us yourselves. Are they paying you? I’m sure firing all those organic farmers lined their pockets. DID IT LINE YORS? Why else would you defend someone feeding your customers poison. I hate to put you in the line of fire but if I can’t trust Whole Foods to protect me from chemicals in my food, whom can I trust? If Whole Foods truly believes in better food for a better world you will pull every container of Silk off your shelves tonight and send them back to Dean. Or you risk being the biggest hypocrites in the history of time.
12/05/2009 12:33:07 AM CST
Stacya says ...
Thank you for talking about this movie, Food, Inc. I just watched it, and I knew a lot of the stuff already, but I was blown away by some of the seed patent stuff and how it affected these small farmers. Thanks for your great blog.
11/29/2009 12:59:00 AM CST
Christina says ...
I loved this movie. I was completely unaware of how many problems were within and coming from the food industry. I'm definitely changing my ways as much as I can affford. However there were some problems in the movie that have no solution. While I understand that we need change, its not going to be simple. One problem I have discovered living near cattle ranchers is the difficulty of raising "organic" beef. My friend has cows that are grassfed in the mountains, obviously breeding and eating organically. However, my friend innoculates his cows. The cows receiving medicine automatically makes them non-organic. However for a farmer, paying for a twenty dollar shot is a smarter investment than allowing a $700 cow die, and possibly spread more illness. Perhaps change would come easier for the food industry if we had reform in big business as well as in labels.
11/19/2009 9:11:37 PM CST
Paul Montgomery says ...
I am frustrated with some of what I have seen here in regards to how Whole Foods meat is raised. Please replace phrases like "We offer meats that are never given antibiotics or added growth hormones, are fed a vegetarian diet, and that are raised with the animal’s welfare in mind." with more specifics! What do you mean "with animal welfare in mind?" Especially with poultry, Whole Foods chickens are now "Barn roaming." What does that mean??? My specific request is around chicken please define what specific standards for a chicken's welfare you employ. And if there are no specific standards, please understand that the caring and wise consumer is forced to assume the standards are low.
12/18/2009 1:00:17 PM CST
hsiaw says ...
Hi Paul, You can find a brief summary of our benchmark standards here: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/products/meat-quality-standards.php. We are also in the process of rolling out a 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating Program, currently in place in our UK stores and being tested some of our regions in the US. More details on this rating system can be found here: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/kensington/animalwelfare.php. Ultimately, we hope it will allow consumers to make the most informed choices available in their meat purchasing. Thanks, Winnie
12/18/2009 2:21:38 PM CST
Grine Blog says ...
People must think of what they eat ...
12/19/2009 9:14:42 AM CST
hsiaw says ...
Whole Foods Market does accept food stamps (EBT) and we recently partnered with Ann Cooper, the Renegade Lunch Lady to spearhead efforts to bring resources to public and private schools to improve their school lunch programs.
01/28/2010 5:02:22 PM CST
Mark I. says ...
Dear Rachel, Thanks for your comments. 'Food, Inc.' made it easier for me to become a vegan, just on principle. The unethical treatment of livestock turns my stomach and makes me sad. Furthermore, the unfair treatment of the 'human animal' in this country is unjust and corrupt. I have hope that one day lobbying for cheap unhealthy 'food' monopolies and seed patents by big agribusines will be criminalized and demonized! In the meantime, thanks to Whole Foods for providing a safe and healthy alternative to informed peoples everywhere!
04/01/2010 2:11:21 PM CDT
Alysoun Mahoney says ...
I'm following up on Paul Montgomery's Dec. 19, 2009 post, in which he asks for a definition of "barn roaming." Whole Foods team member Winnie Hsia points him to http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/products/meat-quality-standards.php , but that page does not seem to provide a definition of the term. I myself am vegan, but I am seeking to buy the most humanely raised meat possible for my cats - because so far, at least, the bulk of scientific evidence still seems to indicate that cats must consume some meat. I bought some "Whole Foods Market (R)" Air-Chilled Chicken at your Clarendon, VA location today - and really want to know what this term means. I would also like to know whether any of the meat you currently sell comes from animals who can truly be said to have been raised humanely.
03/14/2010 5:05:18 PM CDT
Valerie says ...
Sounds like a very interesting movie.
03/31/2010 4:27:22 PM CDT
Donna Harmon says ...
Food Inc.was really enlightening. It discussed several issues, from GMO's to meat and processed food production. I was impressed with how the information was presented in a clear way with video documentation to back up the information. Anyone who wants to eat healthier or thinks they are eating healthier, should watch this video. Some of the things we take for granted as being safely produced and that we perceive as healthy are not.
03/31/2010 4:10:31 PM CDT
hsiaw says ...
Hi Alysoun, we understand your concerns about purchasing humanely raised meat for your cats. Rolling out later this year is our 5-Step Animal Welfare Meat Rating system, which will help customers make very detailed, informed decisions when purchasing meat. We are currently piloting the program in our South region and we will keep you posted as details come out. The term ''air-chilled" refers to the technology for rapidly cooling eviscerated birds in cold rooms to keep bacteria at a minimum and does not directly relate to the animal's quality of life.
03/18/2010 2:50:57 PM CDT
Elena Eccellente says ...
Is the chicken you sell fed non-GMO grain? I know it is not given antiviotics or hormones, but I don't see anything posted about non-GMO feed.
07/21/2010 11:33:02 PM CDT
Alice Jane says ...
Hello, I was wondering if Whole Foods in Pennsylvania accepted EBT payments. It was also in the film that most farmers markets and natural food centers didnt and that it was a cause for so many low income families to chose an unhealthy diet since they had no other option when they recieve food stamps. Thanks!
05/09/2010 10:34:12 PM CDT
Eric M says ...
Shannon, yes I agree that humane killing is an oxymoron. But I wasn't sure I could really be a vegan when I decided to try it after seeing the movie Earthlings http://www.earthlings.com and "Fresh" http://www.freshthemovie.com But I was determined to give it my best go after having the realization that farm animals were essentially no different than my cats or dogs. After sticking through it for a month or two, I came to see that eating vegan is delicious, healthy and nowhere near as hard as I thought. We're creatures of habit and like anything else, once you break the habit it becomes effortless and natural. I'm at my college weight and don't even worry about counting calories or watching what I eat anymore. So much thanks goes to Whole Foods for their unparalleled support of plant based foods!
05/03/2010 10:32:23 PM CDT
paig292 says ...
@Jan We do have very specific guidelines concerning the welfare of animals raised for meat. We have been working for 10 years on increasingly more stringent animal welfare standards and have now chosen the Global Animal Partnership 5 Step Animal Welfare Rating as the welfare certification we will present in our stores. While other animal welfare certifications are well respected, the 5 Step program provides us with specific and detailed information that we have determined is necessary to assure that our customers’ expectations are met. Our producers also have the incentive to strive for higher levels of animal welfare over time and be recognized for the improvements made. Global Animal Partnership 5 Step Animal Welfare Rating standards have been developed for beef cattle, pigs and broiler chickens and are in the works for other species as well. Our producers are being audited now to determine their Step ratings and our meat cases will reflect these certifications by the end of 2010. It’s been a long process, and we are excited that it is about to hit our stores…and to change the way animals are raised around the world.
05/10/2010 1:22:11 PM CDT
paig292 says ...
@Alice Jane: Yes, all of our U.S. stores accept Electronic Food Stamps. Thanks for asking!
05/10/2010 2:13:09 PM CDT
Alan says ...
I'm new to Whole Foods. I have always avoided it because of the cost. This movie has changed the way I shop and I will certainly be visiting my local Whole Foods more often. Stay True!
04/28/2010 1:25:34 PM CDT
Jan says ...
Questions raised by Food, Inc.: I don't see anything on your website about how chickens are treated by your suppliers. Are they required to be free-range or have a minimum amount of clean space to live in? Are they bred to have huge breasts that their body can't support?
04/30/2010 5:26:05 PM CDT
Emily M says ...
It is relieving to know that you guys at Whole Foods uphold what I look for in the quality of my food, as my family shops mostly with you. After watching Food, Inc. and taking a course on food politics I have become aware of many of the industrial food system's ills. I think another huge problem is access to good food. You say that, "At Whole Foods Market we’re committed to the idea that you don’t have to spend a lot to eat well." I must respectfully disagree. Even for my family (a well-to-do two-parent household, both my parents are professionals, and I am the only child they must feed), it is still an economic burden to buy good food at places like Whole Foods. It is extremely expensive to shop with you, but my family sacrifices the extra buck for good quality and "sustainably produced" food. For families who are struggling, however, shopping at Whole Foods is simply not a reality for them. I believe a huge problem, as outlined in Food, Inc., with our food system (GMOs, livestock antibiotics, industrial production, etc) is a problem of unequal access. All across the country, masses of people do not have the means to eat healthily: either there is no access to it or they cannot afford it. I'm not blaming Whole Foods because I would argue it is not their fault. As a business, Whole Foods cannot sell below the cost of production like many corn-products can. The industrial food system coupled with government policies prevent people from shopping at places like Whole Foods who sell "healthier" food because the production of junk/fast food (and "bad calories" like HFCS) are highly subsidized by the government. To mechanize change, people need to begin demanding for access to better foods and putting an economic strain on the industrial food system in hopes that the government will react. But in the mean time, families must put food on the table. When you can't afford fresh produce and can only buy a BigMac, what is there to do?
09/14/2010 11:50:35 PM CDT
Keith Warter says ...
I watched Food inc. for the first time with my Food Sustainability class at UC Berkeley, and I thought it was a great film. I knew that our food system was getting bad. I had heard about the unfair lawsuits Monsanto had been filing in a documentary called "Know Your Food," and I can see that we have an obesity epidemic. What I was amazed by in Food Inc. though, is that it showed farmers being highly profitable without "selling their soul to the devil" so to speak. Food Inc. really gave me hope again because I was beginning to think that there was no way for our capitalistic society to be sustainable. Although the concept of beginning to only shop at local organic farms is ideal, I think it may be somewhat utopian in our system, at least in the present. There are always going to inherently be those people who want more than they need, and they are going to try to produce more of there product so that they can become "rich." I think that human nature, at least within a society enculturated with the present media in america, with the infatuation with celebrities, gangster rappers with bling bling, and all of the like, is going to be compelled to get high status because they see this as a way of obtaining more value in themselves, and of getting the things they have been enculturated to value like a big house, a fast car, fine women, or "respect." I think that the fact that that one farmer in the film was producing far more than he needed, but he was still doing it in a moral and fairly sustainable way is really good news for us. At least until we can stop advertising excess in the way we do, it will show those people that strive for excess that they don't have to sell out their farm to Tyson or buy Monsanto corn to do it. They just have to be organized, and in the long run they probably will make even more money because they wont accidentally kill a twelve year old boy with their product and get into a lengthy lawsuit, nor will they need to invest a bunch of money in some hydrochloric acid professional cleaners, or some weird ammonia product that must be added to their meat, and that will probably end up causing cancer and lead to yet even more lawsuits.
09/12/2010 2:50:52 AM CDT
Ruth Ake says ...
My family has low income. we receive EBT, and was wondering if whole foods accepts EBT near my local whole food market?
01/03/2011 9:54:55 PM CST

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