I am not one of those people that squeal in delight when I hear a Whole Foods store is opening in my home town. I’m not going to head over there on Sunday afternoon to shop the day away.
Maybe that makes me a little strange, but I certainly don’t think so.
Because Whole Foods promotes a whole lot of stuff that I am opposed to — the store hates biotechnology, scares people about conventional agriculture, and continues to promote an agenda that needs to be left in the fringes of hippie-dom.
You can imagine my excitement when I saw an article over at The Daily Beast calling Whole Foods out for the pseudoscience it espouses. In the article, author Michael Schulson compares Whole Foods more ridiculous aspects — such as bagging your organic and conventional produce separately — to the creationism museum. Both are anti-science, but only one is ridiculed by our culture while the other is applauded.
Still: a significant portion of what Whole Foods sells is based on simple pseudoscience. And sometimes that can spill over into outright anti-science (think What Doctors Don’t Tell You, or Whole Foods’ overblown GMO campaign, which could merit its own article). If scientific accuracy in the public sphere is your jam, is there really that much of a difference between Creation Museum founder Ken Ham, who seems to have made a career marketing pseudoscience about the origins of the world, and John Mackey, a founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market, who seems to have made a career, in part, out of marketing pseudoscience about health?
Well, no—there isn’t really much difference, if the promulgation of pseudoscience in the public sphere is, strictly speaking, the only issue at play. By the total lack of outrage over Whole Foods’ existence, and by the total saturation of outrage over the Creation Museum, it’s clear that strict scientific accuracy in the public sphere isn’t quite as important to many of us as we might believe. Just ask all those scientists in the aisles of my local Whole Foods.
You can finish reading Schulson’s article here.
I don’t necessarily think being anti-science is about left or right politics. Rather, I think people of all varieties can fall victim to it. (Note: I don’t think that being a person of faith makes you anti-science, because, well, that would include me too.)
I’ll admit that I’ve never set foot in the store. Goodness knows the spike in blood pressure would be bad for my health. However, I am glad to see that some people are pointing out just how ridiculous it is.
Maybe one day I’ll wander into that haven of anti-scientific junk. It might make a good article; right?