At this point I’m sure you’ve heard of Whole Foods, Inc. It’s the supermarket that keeps popping up in new towns across the United States (we have one going in fairly close to here) and it claims to be a grocery store that simply cares about promoting ethical food choices. You know, they like organic, sustainability, natural, and vegan stuff.
Their website boats of their goals and missions, which sound all warm and fuzzy. Take a look at their goals for environmental stewardship:
- Supporting sustainable agriculture. We are committed to greater production of organically and bio-dynamically grown foods in order to reduce pesticide use and promote soil conservation.
- Reducing waste and consumption of non-renewable resources. We promote and participate in recycling programs in our communities. We are committed to re-usable packaging, reduced packaging, and water and energy conservation.
- Encouraging environmentally sound cleaning and store maintenance programs.
We’ve seen this story before, of course. Opponents of conventional and modern agriculture are always claiming that they act in the best interest of the Earth, opponents of animal cruelty, and champions of sustainable living. They claim to be the real environmentalists and those dirty corporate farmers are destroying our planet. But, as usual, there is more to the story.
That’s where John Mackey comes into the picture. He is the founder and former CEO of Whole Foods, Inc. Mackey claims to be pretty right-wing (he came out against government run health care, which created quite the backlash against his Whole Food followers) and embraces free market capitalism. He also hates unions and doesn’t believe in climate change.
He seems like exactly the opposite of the type of guy that should be running a store like Whole Foods.
However, Mackey also sits on the board of HSUS. I’ve already explored, numerous times, the real agenda and goal of HSUS: shut down animal agriculture. So what exactly is Mackey, self-proclaimed right winger, doing sitting on the board of HSUS? Does he really want to shut down animal agriculture?
In 2005, HSUS and a bunch of other radical animal rights groups signed a letter thanking Mackey and Whole foods for participating in Farm Animal Compassionate Standards (the supposedly more humane and ethical way to kill farm animals). The groups hailed the store as being a leader in promoting humane animal care. Mackey recently praised a book by Wayne Pacelle, HSUS’s current CEO, indicating he felt’s Wayne’s connection to the animals.
Whole Foods has also come out in support of California’s Prop 37. Whole Foods has long opposed the use of GMOs, including a non-GMO verified seal on some of their products.
And, of course, Whole Foods is dedicated to organic food. Organic seems to the be staple of the food chain’s products. The store promotes the category by claiming that organic farmers actually take care of the soil, diversify plants, and prop up rural communities. Oh yeah, and they claim organic food is healthier for you.
The fact is, Whole Foods is dedicated and founded on promoting some of the lies we’ve been fed over and over again. Organic is healthier. Organic is better for the environment. GMOs are giving us all cancer. Farmers are cruel to animals. Animals are being abused.
No doubt Mackey has made millions promoting the lies, catering to the misinformation, and getting in bed with radical environmental groups.
While the food chain claims that it is dedicated to promoting and supporting small farmers, nothing could be farther from the truth. In reality, they want to shut down modern and conventional agriculture right along with the other radical groups. Whole Foods only supports farmers that fit into their idealized, unrealistic (and quite frankly “never existed”) vision of farming. Unfortunately, that doesn’t include most of the family farms found across the United States.
Perhaps Mackey just thought there would be money in this venture. One of the major complaints about the store is the high prices. I hardly doubt the farmers are seeing that extra money. Or perhaps he really bought into the “organic is healthier” hype. Even if he’s given the benefit of the doubt, the fact remains that he has created a store and movement, which has teamed up with groups like HSUS, to end conventional agriculture.
Supporters of US agriculture should avoid shopping at Whole Foods.
Image courtesy FreeDigitalPhotos.net