January 14, 2010

“Top Ten Reasons Why It’s Silly to Boycott Whole Foods.”

(Don’t) Boycott Whole Foods!

Recently, I penned an article criticizing John Mackey, founder and CEO of Whole Foods, for voicing doubt on the supposed lack of scientific consensus behind Climate Change. In so doing, said article made the home page of Huffington Post, and was picked up by dozens of news organizations and sites nationally. And, in so doing, I continued to defend both Mr. Mackey‘s right (as with any of us) to free speech, criticizing him only as an influential leader leading those who look to him, as myself, astray on facts accepts by 90 and 94% of scientists, depending how the question is phrased. Climate Change is serious, and will effect us all—Far far right, far right, Republican, Democrat, Progressive, Libertarian. It already is.

But I also continued to defend Whole Foods from continued calls for a boycott that first arose after he published an anti- “Obamacare” health care reform editorial in the Wall Street Journal. Whole Foods is an invaluable company that’s shown the world that green can equal green.

I posted on my facebook asking for readers to help me with what I termed “Top Ten Reasons Why It’s Silly to Boycott Whole Foods” …to offer reasons that they would continue to support Whole Foods, and received many responses, agreeing and criticizing…and one query from a thoughtful friend I know from Whole Foods (she works there, and contentedly!) offering to share her reasons with elephant readers.

Her thoughtful response is below, and comes via someone who knows WFM from the inside, out—which I think in itself mightily attests to WFM’s ability to walk its talk.

May it be of some benefit:

“Top Ten Reasons Why It’s Silly to Boycott Whole Foods.”

~ by Cory U-C.

10. Vendor fairs ~ every year, Team Members are invited to meet Whole Foods suppliers—face to face. Up-and-coming small businesses and old favorites come with samples of products to a large convention center, and nobody leaves with an empty stomach, and everybody always gains a new favorite product.

9. The only organic juice bar in Boulder is at Whole Foods/Alfalfa’s! Drink a fresh veggie juice and tell me you don’t feel like a million bucks.

8. Local produce from Colorado, the four corners region and some of the West Coast. No grocer can be a perfect local supplier, due to the nature of farming, climate, costs…however Whole Foods does honor its local farms above others whenever possible…in every region.

7. Specialty selections in meat, cheese, chocolate, coffee at much cheaper prices than provision stores.

6. Extremely competitive prices and less packaging on bulk items and many 365 brand products.

5. Green Mission is our recycling program at the store. It encourages recycling and composting. Whole Foods strives to be zero waste and tries at every outpost to become more energy efficient by offsetting its footprint with wind and solar energy.  This adds to the nice atmosphere in the store and sets a great example for the corporate world.

4. The Core Values of the company include: Selling the highest quality natural and organic products available, Satisfying and delighting our customers, Supporting team member happiness and excellence, Creating wealth through profits & growth, Caring about our communities & our environment, Creating ongoing win-win partnerships with our suppliers, Promoting the health of our stakeholders through healthy eating education…

3. Unbeatable benefits and fair wages for all team members.  As well as team member emergency fund which we can donate to in order to support fellow employees who are in need, financially. Although Whole Foods in an enormous corporation, my fellow team members are my family—they care about my happiness and I have the opportunity to voice my opinion and have mobility within the company. I can go from an after-school job as an undergrad to a team leader or store team leader.

2. Amazing customer service—the customer is always top priority, and most team members will go out of their way to show a customer where a product is, give them a sample, or order something or call another store if we are out of it. {ed: we want Vicolo frozen pizzas back, they’re amazing!}

1. Although John Mackey may not understand the repercussions of his influential statements, everyone is entitled to their opinion.  He only earns $1 a year!  He does not make a salary! Any actions one may take to boycott Whole Foods will be counter-productive. Boycotting Whole Foods will only hurt its employees—save your breath and become a conscious consumer!  Read labels, buy local and buy organic!  You really can meet your budget shopping at Whole Foods without compromising quality.  Ultimately, we all have a choice in where we shop and who we support with our money and until the return of the co-op, whole foods offers a great place to compliment your healthy lifestyle, as well as support vendors and small businesses that are truly making a difference in the world.

Plus, you could meet the love of your life at the checkout stand—I’ve seen it happen!

Also via Cory:

“I hope you find this helpful and can share with your readers!  Thanks for the support you give to the company, it’s much appreciated and doesn’t go unnoticed!  Good luck with the elephant—I voted for a small fee for the website to free yourself from advertisers and produce some more content for avid readers like myself.

The elephant is the sh*t!

Good day sir—”

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