Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

 

198 Comments

Comments

Sheila says ...
This is impressive. What about the eggs in WF. Will they be marked with a similar rating?
02/24/2011 9:30:11 AM CST
bepkom says ...
@Sheila: Global Animal Partnership is working on standards for other species and we look forward to rolling those out in our stores when they become available. To see what they are working on, check out their site here: http://www.globalanimalpartnership.org/the-5-step-program/our-standards/
02/24/2011 5:43:30 PM CST
Cindy says ...
I am actually vegan, but love this system for feeding my family. I see that the egg system is underworks, but I am wondering how we can find out about dairy and how humanly the dairy farms are treating their cattle. They can be horrific for the cows, so I was hoping I can figure out how to buy dairy for my family that can sit better with my soul. Any thoughts?
02/24/2011 8:30:14 PM CST
Robin says ...
I'm so glad to hear about the step program, but I've had the unfortunate experience of raising broiler chickens and I've seen firsthand how crippled they beccome when mature. Is there any possibility of heritage breeds being sold at whole foods in the near or distant future?
03/01/2011 10:59:58 PM CST
bepkom says ...
@Robin: That’s an interesting question. Often certain breeds are more susceptible to foot and leg problems but the Global Animal Partnership standards require that the animals raised are suited to their environment and they also require farmers to take immediate action if they see a lame animal.
03/02/2011 3:33:23 PM CST
Katie says ...
I'm a vegetarian precisely because not enough programs like these exist in the united states. It's so exciting to hear that something like this is being implemented into a large grocery chain like Whole Foods. This is the type of awareness that America needs! Thank you!
03/07/2011 4:36:00 PM CST
Shelly Norton says ...
Although I applaud your quest for 'humane meat'. I do not believe killing an animal for the sake of 'meat' can ever be humane. All sentient beings deserve the right to live out the fulfillment of their lives. No one has the right to decide when another animal should die. Eating flesh is not healthy nor necessary for human survival. If you truly love animals and the environment, adopt a plant based diet.
03/12/2011 2:11:33 PM CST
Dannielle says ...
I would like to know what Whole Foods does to insure these animals are not exposed to diseases or conditions spread by migratory birds, and whether or not you have any mortality numbers (birds started in flock vs birds finished and sent for processing, including numbers of those lost to predation, health problems, hen aggression/pecking/cannibalism, etc). I am also interested to learn how the producers can verify the health and nutrition of individual bird in their care- how do they follow each animal and keep track of daily/weekly progress? Lastly, how do these rating systems affect price of the product on shelf? thank you.
03/28/2011 10:05:41 AM CDT
bepkom says ...
@Dannielle: I'm going to look into your inquiries and will post the answer soon. Thanks!
03/28/2011 9:42:59 PM CDT
amy says ...
What happens to the male chick and ducks and turkeys?
04/04/2011 10:58:02 PM CDT
Laura Henderson says ...
Thank you SO much for investing in this program. Personally I am a vegan, but I applaud any effort to raise awareness of animal welfare issues -- and to allow people to avoid unintentionally supporting animal cruelty when they shop. I hope eventually you will only carry Step 4 and 5. I also understand you will be carrying Humane Choice pet food so people can feed their pets food that is humane as well. Thank you!
04/06/2011 9:52:59 AM CDT
Brian Quinn says ...
I think this an awesome idea and thank you for doing it! I will definitely pay the extra money to buy the top rating!
05/02/2011 8:29:55 PM CDT
Jan Warren says ...
Can you please tell me if any of these 1-5 star chicken producers feed their chickens Roxarsone, Pfizer's chicken feed (which contains inorganic arsenic) which is a known carcinogen. In response to an FDA inquiry, Pfizer said that they will voluntarily recall this chicken feed in "some markets."
06/09/2011 11:10:19 PM CDT
bepkom says ...
@Jan: No, our chickens are not fed Roxarsone. For more information on our strict Quality Standards, please click here: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/products/quality-standards.php
06/10/2011 12:16:31 PM CDT
CW says ...
This is such a great idea - we will definitely start buying all our meats at whole foods now. It makes being humane-conscious so simple!
07/24/2011 6:39:53 PM CDT
Denise Coradini says ...
The program sounds great and is very informative. My only concern, as with all organic live stock, is that organic feed is not the same as an animals natural feed. The more corn, the more Omega 6 feed, the less healthy for us is their meat. I would like to see more about what animals are grazing naturally or what percentage of their diet is natural -- bugs, grass, etc. -- as opposed to corn or other man-made feed that might not make for the healthiest meat products. I would like to see more farmers/ranchers encouraged to offer naturally fed animals as they do in Brazil, New Zealand and other countries.
08/14/2011 8:50:21 AM CDT
Yvonne says ...
I have enjoyed using this rating system. I would like it if all the meat were labeled with this rating system at the whole foods I shop at. I'm not sure if some of the meat is not labeled because it has a rating less than step 1 or if the sticker was not put on. I am a bit confused by that. I also would like to see this rating system being applied to the eggs, dairy, and all the other animal products. This rating system really helps me make decisions about what I chose to buy and therefore I would like to see it used more. At the very least all the meat should be labeled, unless it not being labeled means that the meat has not reached the standards of step 1. Incidentally I also use the rating system for fish at the store, which again is instrumental in helping me make decisions about what I buy; however often when a fish is on sale, only the sale price is listed and not its rating. I hope that something can be done in the future to make the rating system more prevalent.
08/17/2011 9:43:12 AM CDT
Patti J says ...
What step level of chicken are you going to use in your prepared meals such as the cooked chickens, etc. The employees at the prepared foods section knew nothing about where the meat in the dishes came from. There were roasted chickens that looked great. I asked, "Are these chickens step rated also?" The gentlemen said, "I'm not sure." Can we get more labeling in the prepared section please? I'm busy and would like to buy more ready made foods.
08/30/2011 5:12:13 PM CDT
Shirley Ann says ...
Hi, I got chicken today (Aug 31, 2011) at WF in Mill Valley. Label says the grower is Snelling Co. I don't see them listed above. What is their rating?
08/31/2011 3:48:24 PM CDT
Shirley Ann says ...
Another question: what are the Whole Foods standards re: debeaking of chickens?
08/31/2011 3:53:58 PM CDT
janejohnson says ...
@Shirley Ann The chicken from Snelling CA, sold at your Mill Valley Whole Foods Market has a Step 3 rating. To learn more about what the steps mean, regarding animal treatment and processing, please watch this video about our rating system. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pv4bzoEG8Kc
09/02/2011 3:28:29 PM CDT
Linda says ...
I was wondering if any of these standards address chlorine in the processing step of poultry, I know Bell & Evans do not use chlorine in processing or cleaning their poultry. Would anyone know if any of these other companies use chlorine in there chicken? Thanks
09/20/2011 1:26:38 PM CDT
janejohnson says ...
@Linda Thanks for your thoughtful question. Some producers use a water bath with an extremely diluted chlorine content for chilling chicken post slaughter. Others use an air chiller. The producers using air chillers are very interested in calling it out and do so quite openly on their packaging and in our stores. You should see an "air cooled" promotion on the package itself. So, if you don't see the call out to air chilled in the store or on the package, then it's probably not. As for finding air cooled '"step rated" chicken near you, I encourage you to reach out to your community's Whole Foods Market. A Team Member from your store will be happy to speak with you about the available options. Follow the link below to identify your store and their contact information. http://wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/
09/21/2011 2:59:54 PM CDT
C. Lane says ...
Thanks for this program. I'm interested in step-five chickens, but I read on the website of Petaluma Poultry (http://www.petalumapoultry.com/poultry), a five-step supplier, that the "spacious chicken houses" allocate only 1 square foot per bird. Does Whole Foods have any suppliers that do not confine chickens to tight spaces? Has Whole Foods considered using the Certified Humane labeling system? Thanks.
12/15/2011 6:15:30 PM CST
janejohnson says ...
@C.Lane Our 5-step chickens are raised in their natural environments with no cages and are offered natural sleeping options. Chickens prefer to be perched in bird houses as their optimal sleeping environments. It is likely that this one square foot of space is referring to their sleeping environments, since step 5 requires open, outdoor living space (no cages ever). Thanks for reaching out.
12/20/2011 10:54:28 AM CST

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