Whole Foods: Just Another Corporate Entity?


I’m not a vegetarian, nor am I a vegan. But I still like to eat healthy. More so than many I know. I haven’t gone to a fast food chain since I was 19 and haven’t had a soda since I was 13. And I try to eat organic as often as I can, even though the word organic has come to mean less and less as the laws slowly morph.

But I’ll be adding Whole Foods to my list of places not to shop. Not that my life will change dramatically as I’ve always preferred to buy from local health food stores (like my nearby Erewhon) over the health food chains.

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey wrote an op ed in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal in opposition to Obama’s Health Care proposals.

Picture 4While we clearly need health-care reform, the last thing our country needs is a massive new health-care entitlement that will create hundreds of billions of dollars of new unfunded deficits and move us much closer to a government takeover of our health-care system. Instead, we should be trying to achieve reforms by moving in the opposite direction—toward less government control and more individual empowerment.

Rather than increase government spending and control, we need to address the root causes of poor health. This begins with the realization that every American adult is responsible for his or her own health.

Unfortunately many of our health-care problems are self-inflicted: two-thirds of Americans are now overweight and one-third are obese. Most of the diseases that kill us and account for about 70% of all health-care spending—heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes and obesity—are mostly preventable through proper diet, exercise, not smoking, minimal alcohol consumption and other healthy lifestyle choices.

Recent scientific and medical evidence shows that a diet consisting of foods that are plant-based, nutrient dense and low-fat will help prevent and often reverse most degenerative diseases that kill us and are expensive to treat. We should be able to live largely disease-free lives until we are well into our 90s and even past 100 years of age.

Hell, sounds to me a little like “shop at my store and you might not even need that health care at all!” And while I certainly agree that Americans need to eat far healthier than they do, I think at the end of the day, Mackey is a business-minded fellow and that may be the side that’s talking here. After all, this is the guy who just stated last week:

“Basically, we used to think it was enough just to sell healthy food, but we know it is not enough. We sell all kinds of candy. We sell a bunch of junk.”

Now is that for the benefit of your patrons or the income of your business? And believe me, I understand that you need to make money in order to keep the business running and if health isn’t selling well enough these days, then why not add a little shit to the pile to keep the numbers in a sustainable place? It’s only people’s health at risk. And everyone should be responsible for their own health. After all, health care is not, as Mackey points out in his letter, an intrinsic “right”:

Health care is a service that we all need, but just like food and shelter it is best provided through voluntary and mutually beneficial market exchanges. A careful reading of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution will not reveal any intrinsic right to health care, food or shelter. That’s because there isn’t any. This “right” has never existed in America.

And Mackey doesn’t seem to think it should be a right. And then there’s the reality that shopping at Whole Foods as a health care alternative is about as, if not more, expensive than paying for insurance coverage. It’s not cheap to be healthy in America. No sir. You can do it, but you’re gonna pay.

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Whole Foods: Just Another Corporate Entity?

2 thoughts on “Whole Foods: Just Another Corporate Entity?

  1. Yeah, I read this, too. Fucking corporate behemoth dickwad asshole (you should excuse the expression); I thought that opening with a quote from Margaret “Kill, Kill, Kill, Kill, Kill the Poor” Thatcher was an especially nice touch. Oh, and did you know he’s an admirer of Ayn Rand? Quelle surprise!

    Nope. I’m frankly uncomfortable with supporting companies that are all about the “happy meat” movement (“Eat us, eat us, here we are!!” http://suicidefood.blogspot.com), and this has just solidified my position. Henceforth, Whole Foods can get along just fine without my money…or whoever’s money it may be, Obama and his granny-killin’, abortion dealin’ socialism has me SO CONFUSED!

  2. paul says:

    Mackey is just another wolf in a sheep costume. He is the CEO of Whole Foods and touts it’s benefits but because he lives in a tower high above the average American he’s lost sight of the real world that exist outside of his gated community. Like most wealthy Americans he sees the world through rose colored glasses. Actually, they’re probably Calvin Klein glasses that retail for over a $1,000 bucks.
    I used to work for Whole Foods. We had a company picnic to spread the love and show us that WF was not like any other company/corporation. There was love and brotherhood in the air. I watched a volleyball game on the grass. As I watched I noticed one of the players was extremely competitive, almost to the point of being obnoxious. He just wanted to win. I turned to a fellow WF employee and asked “who’s the guy who thinks he’s playing for money”?. The response, “oh, that’s Mackey”.
    Not exactly Woodstock.

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