Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

 

60 Comments

Comments

Lynn says ...
It doesn't matter how well an animal is treated or how comfortable their surroundings are. There is still no humane way to kill them. There's more to eat than meat!
02/24/2011 10:04:47 AM CST
bepkom says ...
@Trey: Thank you so much for the question. No matter what the STEP rating, we require all our animals to be slaughtered humanely. One of the most crucial steps in this process is properly stunning the animal prior to death so they are unconscious and don’t feel anything. Every slaughter plant is audited each year for animal welfare as part of our Whole Foods Market requirements, and one of the core components is to check for proper stunning. I hope this answers your question and have a great day!
02/24/2011 11:26:20 AM CST
Karen says ...
End result: pig gets to keep his gonads but loses his head. We feel better eating him at the dinner table. This is crazy!!!
03/03/2011 7:55:24 PM CST
Corey says ...
I haven't been to Whole Foods since moving to NYC, but I will definitely be taking a trip there this week to pick up some pork loin chops and organic, grass fed beef. Whole Foods is one of the only places where I can extra lean grass fed and organic ground beef.
03/06/2011 8:45:26 AM CST
Leslie Sneed says ...
I am so pleased that you are taking these steps to ensure these animals have a better quality of life.
03/30/2011 12:13:10 PM CDT
bepkom says ...
@Martha: As the program expands you will begin to see more and more Step-rated options at your local store.
02/28/2011 1:49:55 PM CST
Melissa says ...
First of all I think it's about time that an animals quality of life is taken into consideration. I disagree with Emma - whether animals have rights or not has absolutely nothing to do with the way we treat them. I think for most people that is a "no brainer." I happen to take to heart what the Bible says about being stewards of the Earth - I believe animals were created with certain innate needs and characteristics which make them unique - it is wrong to take away an animals right to live in accordance with its nature. We live in a world where we do not HAVE to eat meat - but if we must then I think we can at least let them live a life first before we take it from them.
02/28/2011 6:33:15 PM CST
OrganicSizeMe says ...
With all due respect to WF's and your Step 5 program. I'd rather just see Step 5. I'm not a vegetarian yet, but if the animals in this county don't start living their lives the way they're suppose to, I will soon be one.
02/28/2011 7:22:45 PM CST
petronella says ...
The most humane option is to live a vegan life. none of these animals want to be killed :(
03/01/2011 11:40:11 AM CST
Helena says ...
While shopping at WF yesterday, I immediately noticed the addition of the Step 4 pork options at your meat counter. Please keep these options coming, and please continue to strive for Step 5 and Step 5+. Many consumers are waiting for these options, and will purchase these products when available.
03/01/2011 12:43:24 PM CST
Traveler says ...
Thank you for implementing the 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating Standards. In addition to striving for 5 and 5+ rated meats, please continue to expand your selection of grass-fed, grass-finished meat products. There is a growing consumer base interested in purchasing such products. Thank you.
03/01/2011 12:52:00 PM CST
Liz says ...
Step 6 ... pigs live in comfort for the remainder of their natural lives and die of natural causes ... never to be eaten.
03/01/2011 3:36:17 PM CST
Robin says ...
This is a HUGE step foreward for animal welfare! I'm so glad to hear about such wonderful progress! This kind of change comes about slowly, and with programs like this I'm much more optimistic about the future.
03/01/2011 10:45:18 PM CST
stank_luv says ...
I hope they also give the name of the pig I am about to buy and eat, so I can refer to him respectfully as he is devoured by my jaws of life..."mmmm porky wasn't so lucky the other day was he?"
03/02/2011 3:38:20 PM CST
Cindy says ...
I don’t eat pigs at ALL. They are sweet and gentle creatures – smart like dogs. I do think this is a step up for people that eat meat. Although I still think there is something barbaric about eating sweet and innocent animals when we have so many other things that we can eat – that do not have feelings and lives. Pigs and cows are very smart and have feelings and feel pain, etc. Many food factories torture these animals just before they are murdered for food. Cows see other cows being killed and react with fright and horror just before they are killed in the same way. It makes me ashamed to be human when I hear these things. So I will say this: If you pig eaters want to eat bacon, the LEAST you can do is buy from a STEP 5 farm to make sure that pig had a happy life. That is the LEAST you can do. And the next time you are chewing on a piece of bacon, enjoying every bite, I just want you to remember that Twilight Zone episode, “To Serve Man” – where aliens came down and started farming humans to eat. Just like we do to the animals that we eat. Yes, it’s just a make-believe show – but it makes you think. What if we had no choice? Or what if your soul were that pig or cow about to be killed in a factory line? Emma, I do not agree with what you say at all. You say that to have rights, you must have responsibilities? Should a baby human not have rights then? Babies don’t have responsibilities. Should mental/elderly/handicapped patients that must be cared for in every way not have rights just because they don’t have responsibilities? If your soul were in a chicken’s body – trapped in a crowded crate your whole, short life - how would you feel? I guess your soul would understand – because like you said – you should have no rights.
03/02/2011 9:08:54 PM CST
Tofor says ...
I've noticed this blog spends a lot of time covering the rearing of animals but so precious little on the processing aspect. That is the information we all need to ensure that the product we are ingesting is being handled in a manner that maintains its peak freshness and natural flavors while minimizing cross-contamination and the spread of harmful bacteria/disease. The only company that I have found that provides solid information on processing is Bell and Evans (chicken not pork). Fortunately B&E products are sold at WF. A great (and necessary, IMO) leap in the content of these blog posts would be a full description of the processing standards WF demands in addition to how the animals are raised.
03/03/2011 8:43:47 AM CST
janejohnson says ...
@TDM Since each store sources their products as locally as possible, the best way to learn what supplier the pigs are provided by is to reach out to your community Whole Foods Market directly. The link below will help you identify the contact information for your store and a Team Member there will be happy to discuss the sourcing of our pork products. Thanks for reaching out! www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores
12/02/2011 9:36:46 AM CST
Liz says ...
Do any of your step ratings take into consideration the disposal method of the animals' waste? After reading a publication ('Endeavors', Winter, 2012) by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, this is a significant concern. Specifically related to pigs, the 'hog-waste lagoons' are pools of excrement that sit for months. After a period of time, the waste is then sprayed over fields as fertilizer. Air and water become contaminated (including the presence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the ground water due to antibiotics given to the hogs) and humans are experiencing deleterious health effects. Research has revealed that the placement of these 'traditional hog-waste management systems' are more likely to be found in the vicinity of people living in poverty. In light of this sort of information, I would like to be aware of the waste management method connected to the meat I'm buying at your store. Thank you...
02/04/2012 11:46:18 PM CST
TDM says ...
So - the question is : where do the slaughtered pigs come from? My local Whole Foods claims to offer local poultry and humanely raised beef. But what about the pork?
12/01/2011 9:49:09 PM CST
janejohnson says ...
@Liz I reached out to our Global Animal Product Standards Expert, Liz Fry and here is her response. "Global Animal Partnership 5-Step Animal Welfare standards require solid flooring for pigs with no more than 25% of the floor in slats under the feeders and waterers as well as stringent air quality requirements. The 5-Step standards and Whole Foods Market both prohibit antibiotics. This precludes the type of system described in the article."
02/07/2012 4:14:24 PM CST
Sarah says ...
Love your rating system!!! So empowering!!
05/04/2012 2:48:49 PM CDT
Stacy says ...
Lynn, There's more to eat than meat? Tell that to my son who's allergic to all grains, dairy & eggs!
04/21/2012 3:03:31 PM CDT
betty says ...
[DIRECT RESPONSE - NN] Hi, I shop in the LA and Pasadena WF and I have yet to see pork above step 1. Any chance of seeing it in these stores at some point?
09/25/2012 10:33:00 PM CDT
Linda Watt says ...
I recently shopped at a new Whole Foods Market. It was wonderful. I noticed though that you are selling veal. I have heard that calves are inhumanely treated to produce veal. Why are you carrying veal?
10/07/2012 10:26:40 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@LINDA - Thanks for your question. In our mission to offer the highest quality, freshest foods to our customers, there will inevitably be products that do not appeal to everyone, and, in the case of some products, indeed offend some people. Here are some facts about the veal that we carry: The veal we sell at Whole Foods Market is truly unique from an animal welfare standpoint. Whether raised in group housing or on pasture, our standards prohibit crates or tethers as well as the administration of antibiotics or added hormones. (The USDA prohibits the use of hormones in raising veal.) Our standards for barn-raised veal require that calves are raised in group housing with plenty of room to move around, play and rest. To be labeled “pasture-raised,” calves must remain with their mothers on a diet of mother’s milk and grass. I hope this helps!
10/12/2012 3:24:14 PM CDT

Pages