Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

 

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Jim Zakoura says ...
I used to look forward to going to Whole Foods. I will never step foot in the store again. Never. Differences of opinion are fine, but these "fascist" comments were way beyond any norm of reasonableness.
01/17/2013 8:50:35 PM CST
Scott B says ...
I am disapointed by this CEOs remarks. As a business owner for 30 years and employed for some very good employers I have not forgotten I did not have a thriving compnay with out my employees. Most of my empoyeers thought, as I have, that it is our duty to help our empolyees with health care. I believe this CEO would carry more weight with his statements if he put his money where his mouth is. Work with the Gov to bring this to fruition. Maybe he needs to be on the floor with his employees and see through his emplees struggles and help set up another type of system. As long as it happens, let's keep looking for the best way. Until we do let's try and make this one work. I will think twice about shopping at a store that does not care enough about it's employees to offer health care.
01/17/2013 8:51:21 PM CST
Susan Hammon says ...
We have been a fan and supporter of whole foods whenever we are in the Bay Area. I was very disappointed in the comments by John Mackey. I think your company has been very successful financially in the past few years and I would of thought your personal philosophy on giving people "Slow Food" would also carry over into how you treat your employees. I think from now on we will support New Leaf.
01/17/2013 8:51:34 PM CST
Isabella says ...
I am no longer shopping at Whole Foods because of your remarks. I will no longer support a business (after years of shopping there) that espouses such values. It's Trader Joes for my family now. I will miss the bread, but I can find good bread elsewhere.
01/17/2013 8:51:43 PM CST
DanielG says ...
He attacked "single payer" back in 2009 and now he calls Obamacare "facist". I'm looking for an alternative to Whole Foods in my area. He has the right to say whatever he wants, but his clientele that he offends have the right to take their business elsewhere. But do we really believe that with Whole Foods' high-end prices that the company can't afford to continue to offer generous affordable benefits to their workers. Hmmm....wonder how much in income Mr. Mackey is receiving and how much he is leaving for the rest.
01/17/2013 8:52:15 PM CST
M. L. Payes says ...
Done with Mackey's Whole Foods. As a taxpayer I see no reason to continue to support a corporate welfare participant increasing his wealth on the backs of the middle class without any concern for his customers. Compare our system with any other western civilized nation and we have the highest costs and the worst healthcare outcomes from infant mortality to longevity. You are pathetic.
01/17/2013 8:53:25 PM CST
Gianna Pomata says ...
This is message for Mr. Mackey. I'm sorry, but I think that when you call Obamacare "fascist" you just show that you don't know what you're talking about. I'm Italian, and a historian of European history, and I can tell you that Obamacare has nothing whatsoever to do with fascism. If you call "fascist" any interference of the state with the market economy, you'd have to call fascist also the New Deal or the Social-Democratic policies of the Scandinavia states, which is just silly. Please, learn some history. In turn, I, who have been a faithful and enthusiastic Whole Foods shopper ever since living the US for the last twenty years, will try to shop around for another grocery store whose CEO does not align himself with these unenlightened, reactionary views. A little history-conscious capitalism wouldn't be bad...
01/17/2013 8:54:57 PM CST
Steven Burke says ...
FASCISM: 1 often capitalized: a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition. Please learn what the word actually means.
01/17/2013 8:57:05 PM CST
Art & Elaine Davis says ...
We were shocked and dismayed this morning when we heard you on NPR labeling the Affordable Health Care Act as a "fascist" initiative. We expect a leader of your stature to be careful and precise with your use of language instead of evoking images of World War II atrocities that are in no way analogous to the topic at hand. Sorry we missed you at your store in Overland Park, Kansas, today. We would have shared our thoughts with you in person. You do so much that is exemplary and positive. Please continue in that direction instead of descending in the other direction.
01/17/2013 8:57:30 PM CST
Lynne Soffer says ...
I'm so sorry you seem to think this widespread reaction is simply a result of a "poor word choice." Thanks to this inadvertent revelation of your underlying attitudes and feelings, I have been made aware of your prior similar irresponsible (in my opinion) attacks on our government's actions. I find I can no longer support your ideas with my spending and shall no longer patronize Whole Foods. Too bad. I used to be a big fan. I shall miss the good food but I shall take my Facist, Socialist, Capitalist dollar to CostCo, Safeway, Berkeley Bowl and the farmers' market. Bye-bye! A Former Regular Customer of Whole Foods.
01/17/2013 8:57:46 PM CST
john says ...
Government is on a warpath to control everything. Why? Control = fear. What happened to the concept of public servant. Public dictators of values & lifestyle has historically never won points with those that pay their salaries.
01/17/2013 8:59:56 PM CST
Kathleen VanderVelde says ...
I am so disappointed in Whole Foods. I assumed you were a good company and a good employer. I NO longer want to buy healthy food from unhealthy employee's.
01/17/2013 9:00:53 PM CST
Adriana says ...
I think the word you are looking for to describe the healthcare system in the U.S. is National Health Insurance System (NHIS - google it!). It's one of the most popular universal insurance systems adopted around the world.... including by Switzerland. Had you done your research before you posted this enormity, you would have realized that the U.S. healthcare system will be very similar to that of Switzerland AND that Switzerland also has a healthcare mandate. Yes, having insurance is mandatory in Switzerland, too. Fascists, ay?
01/17/2013 9:01:12 PM CST
Linda Barrett says ...
As of this writing, they are building big, beautiful new Whole Foods store about 3 miles from my house. I was so excited when I found out that it was being built! I guess I will never know the wonder that is WF, as I cannot set foot in a store run by a man who cares so little for those that make his business run. When will CEOs learn to keep their political opinions to themselves? You are guaranteed to anger a large group of potential customers! And YOU had fair warning! Look at Papa John's, Olive Garden, Red Lobster-it didn't work for them! If you must raise your prices-just DO IT! I would rather spend an extra 25 cents for a loaf of bread and help someone have decent healthcare. I don't need to hear some CEO dump all of his nonexistent woes on his employees. Just raise your prices like you have done since the first time you did it...without a grandstand explanation. Why do you feel the need to explain it this time?
01/17/2013 9:01:26 PM CST
Anthony Van Vugt says ...
That's a cop out! It is just not as matter of a bad choice of words. It's the arrogant attitude towards his staff and customers. Whole Foods won't have the guts to post this comment. But it won't be able to prevent me from supporting Whole Foods staff in getting proper health insurance or lobbying his board of directors to remove him from any public role in managing the company. As a starter, I and my supporters will no longer shop at Whole Foods. Also, as I'll only be there to demonstrate, remove my name from your email address list. Finally, please refrain from using the Australian Kangaroo badge.
01/17/2013 9:01:27 PM CST
Roger Olien says ...
John runs a great company but he is amazingly misinformed about how our health system actually works. It's stretching more than one point to call it "free enterprise capitalism", vastly overstating the actual competition that exists. It operates more like a community-focused, government financed, and insurance-company regulated oligopolistic system than the grocery business. He also needs to look more closely at who has benefited from "an improved state of society"-- More likely him and the rest of the one percent than the rest of us in recent years..
01/17/2013 9:02:29 PM CST
Lynn Buhler says ...
You have ruined Whole Foods for me. I have shopped there since it was Fresh Fields, seldom spending less than $300 per week. I have strong political opinions, but do not feel the need to have them guide my shopping choices, UNTIL the voice of a particular shop or business becomes intentionally, publicly aired in opposition to something I strongly support. By coming out so forcefully against Obamacare, you now leave me no choice. I am very, very sad to have to give up my years-long relationship with Whole Foods. It is your fault. Lynn Buhler
01/17/2013 9:03:37 PM CST
Charlie R says ...
Your comments were just a little off he believes in socialism and not fascism. I will continue to shop whole foods and will ask more people to as well. So much for the liberals and tolerance !!
01/17/2013 9:05:02 PM CST
Nicole says ...
Used to drop lots of cash at your Saint Paul location. Will be taking my business to Mississippi Market. Your arrogant comments are beyond offensive. Millions of people were murdered under fascism. Your regrets are too little too late.
01/17/2013 9:05:15 PM CST
Lynn Fox says ...
At the prices you charge I find it difficult to believe you cannot provide adequate health insurance for your employees. Your words were offensive and your revisit was shallow. We, the insured, have had to pay for those not insured through higher heath insurance premiums. The notion that you chose not to insure your employees is what is wrong with the system prior to the Affordable Healthcare Act. Luckily there are many other choices where my food dollars will be spent.
01/17/2013 9:05:26 PM CST
C. Cross says ...
Too little; too late. You have built an empire and are making billions of dollars and have the nerve to make a personal attack on our President. I believe you are only doing a "back-off" because of your concern about your Company. I will not do a "back-off": I will forever boycott Whole Foods.
01/17/2013 9:07:19 PM CST
Stef says ...
Thank you for putting your opinion out there. I'd rather know how people really feel (and are planning to treat their employees) than to continue spending money somewhere that outwardly projects a feel-good green image while not being a whole lot better than Walmart. Good to know and sad to see that someone at your level has no idea what the term fascism means and so lightly throws it out there to try and score points. BTW, socialism is when the community/taxpayer has to pick up the tab which is what happens when people can't afford 'free enterprise capitalist healthcare' and go to the ER when it's too late for prevention and where they can't get turned away for not having insurance or money to pay for treatment.
01/17/2013 9:08:46 PM CST
tom says ...
Mackey is just another CEO that will screw his employees and customers over providing healthcare, people who handle food shouldn't be sick or ill.
01/17/2013 9:12:00 PM CST
Jason King says ...
Mr. Mackey, Hearing your inflammatory comments was incredibly upsetting. The business you have built is something I have admired. I also have several friends who work (or have worked) in your stores and have nothing but positive things to say about the working environment and culture of WF. However, I totally disagree with your idea that the free market spawns "creativity and progress" in healthcare. I have two personal anecdotes to share with you to validate my claim. First, about 12 years ago I was in architecture school working hard to get my degree and amassing quite a large student loan debt. Architecture school is demanding, and before a final review I had stayed awake for 2 nights straight, before collapsing from exhaustion. My classmates took me to the emergency room where I remained for a few hours, was given some meds, and released. It was really no big deal. When I graduated from the university (and was no longer on the university health plan) I was unable to purchase healthcare on the free market because of a pre-existing condition. Yes, exhaustion was now my pre-existing condition, and without paying nearly $1K/month I could not get healthcare. I felt as though I was being punished for using something I had paid for my entire life. I was an athletic. healthy 35 year old running a growingly successful architecture firm who was uninsurable. It wasn't until I starting teaching at a university that I was able to get healthcare on their plan. When I inevitably stop teaching, without Obamacare I would be pretty screwed. Second: My mother ran a small business in Texas, working her ass off, from the time she was 49-64. About 5 years ago she developed osteoporosis and it slowed her down terribly, eventually along with scoliosis it disfigured her to the point of barely being able to walk. Every penny she made was eventually put toward multiple surgeries/drugs/broken bones etc. She died last April in back surgery penniless after having declared bankruptcy. So, my friend, when I hear you call something that could help me, my deceased mother, and millions of other Americans "fascism" or to even speak disparagingly of it, I can't help but be offended. And that is why I will no longer be shopping in your stores. Sincerely, Jason King
01/17/2013 9:13:20 PM CST
Frank Patino says ...
I am tired of having wealthy economically successful ignorant men spout out foolishness and ignorance. Anyone with a mild understanding of history and political terminology knows that there is absolutely no relation between Fascism and Romneycare/Obamacare to say such only serves to polarize our divided nation and to stoke the fires of extremism. I have been a Whole Foods client for many years, no more. In the future, please have your executives stick to selling food, not to put their ignorance on display while they offend the majority of the nation's voters.
01/17/2013 9:13:21 PM CST

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