Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

 

60 Comments

Comments

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
Ed says ...
I'm all for having healthy, hormone-free, antibiotic-free meat, but I think a lot of this is a bit too much. Especially Step 5. "Boar-Taint"? ewww. I agree with not having an abusive environment for those animals we'll eventually be eating, but i think there's a limit to what we need to do. This seems to be over the limit and I dont think it's worth the extra price we would be paying. If people are concerned about the well being of an animal and whether they are happy or not should be a vegetarian. Which makes perfect sense.
03/02/2011 9:21:46 AM CST
Buttered Biscuit says ...
I guess you are trying to price pork right out of the store. This will make your market more sharia friendly. Congratulations.
03/02/2011 9:33:35 AM CST
Lamans says ...
Because studies have shown that plants feel pain when will whole foods stop encouraging the slaughter of innocent plants by selling vegetable? We as a society needs to be good stewards to the land and quit consuming all products period.
03/02/2011 9:33:52 AM 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
Catriona Gold says ...
This article is very worrying to me. As Lynn says, there is no humane way to kill an animal; and, indeed, if these animals have really had such wonderful lives (which, given that they continue to be treated as automatons bred for profit, is doubtful) you can't even frame death as a blessed release from the horrors of a factory farm. It's all the more abhorrent to violently end a 'good' life. If you're concerned about animals, please think about veganism. Not only is it the only truly ethical choice with respect to animals' lives, it's also the only environmentally conscious choice, not to mention much cheaper than buying so-called 'humane' flesh.
03/03/2011 3:31:27 AM 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
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
talmis says ...
OK the labeling for welfare is great...but why on earth did you remove the organic labels from most of your meats?...you can raise an animal that is welfare level 5 and still give them antibiotics and hormones and do not report it at all....I need both labels there please!!!!
03/06/2011 10:35:38 AM CST
bepkom says ...
@Talmis: Thank you for your comment. Our Quality Standards for all our meat, regardless of welfare rating, dictate no antibiotics and no added hormones ever.
03/06/2011 10:51:16 AM CST
talmis says ...
Hi Michael, I am a very frequent buyer in wholefoods and I want to keep buying meat there...but I (and several of my friends) are really questioning why do not you just try to have the organic certification (e.g. USDA organic) label next to the Animal welfare rating?... It is great that you state that animals do not receive antibiotics and do not receive any hormones, but this is not a certification....National Standards are important too....and the USDA organic is a good certification...before that label I was constantly worried when I tried any new product because I have a very large array of allergies and this label actually has saved me from many bad food surprises... I can trust you but not necessarily the source of your meat...you can have an animal with animal welfare rate of 4 and still receive antibiotics if this is not certified by a qualified agency....(e.g USDA or better if possible). I was raised in an area where people produced chickens and eggs, and some of them will meet all the standards for level 5...grown in the same location, always outside, very enriched environment...but the farmer if had a problems with an animal getting sick will just buy a mix of "medicine" and throw it in the ground and the animals will eat it ...
03/06/2011 11:49:08 AM CST
talmis says ...
I just found out that the CEO of Wholefoods is in the Board of Directors of "Global Animal Partnership"...so...you are certifying your own products...that is not right at all.... can you explain how are we going to feel reassured by a system of certification and review that is actually completely linked to the CEO of the company being reviewed?
03/06/2011 1:20:06 PM CST
Lain says ...
This lack of respect and awareness for sentient beings is profound! It is one thing to be a shameless and obviously unconscious profiteer, but this display of consciously "claiming" to care about the welfare of nonhuman animals is beyond comprehension. I know most people cannot see past Whole Foods' obscene "happy meat" profiteering, but please know we are not all sheeple! I also know I am not your sheeple demographic, so you do not care, but how you, and the many welfare orgs (who "we" know are nothing more than happy meat industry PR Reps) market this murder, is again, beyond comprehension!
03/07/2011 10:11:41 PM 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
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 ...
@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
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
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
Sarah says ...
Love your rating system!!! So empowering!!
05/04/2012 2:48:49 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

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