I love shopping at Whole Foods. I can get everything there. I mean everything – buffalo meat, gluten-free bread, almond milk, kohlrabi, sunchokes and fresh aloe leaves.
I was in there just the other day to buy a box of my favorite protein bars. My mission was meant to be quick – in and out. But I have to walk though produce and the produce is just so… gorgeous. I have to buy just a few of these heirloom navel oranges that look and smell so good. Then there are the fuji apples, my favorite, I get a few of those too. And the meat section… They actually have buffalo cuts – all the time. The cheese? Don’t even get me started on the cheese. It’s just so… decadent. Just stepping into the store feels like a treat.
A few years ago, I read an article about the Whole Foods CEO, John Mackey who posed anonymously (as Rahodeb, a variation on his wife’s name) in the Yahoo Finance group for, like, seven years. Actually, the piece I read wasn’t really an article; it was more of a compilation — the greatest hits of his Yahoo posts. He wrote glowing reports of his work as Whole Food CEO and criticized the business model and management of Wild Oats, a competitor and business he later purchased. At one point he commented that he thought his own haircut looked “cute.”
He’s back in the news again because he wrote an op-ed piece for the Wall Street Journal where he questions an individual’s right to health care. “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.”
Recently, I read this Mackey profile in the New Yorker . (Are you impressed by my publication name-dropping? I don’t ever read People Magazine, no sir, or watch Project Runway. What what? Did someone say Project Runway? Where?) Anyway, the piece included many of his most famous quotes (like the ones below) and even printed a few new stunners.
In the early 80’s Mackay told a reporter, “The Union is like having herpes. It doesn’t kill you, but it’s unpleasant and inconvenient, and it stops a lot of people from becoming your lover.”
And how about this little gem about global warming…
“…as he put it, ‘no scientific consensus exists’ regarding the cause of climate change; he added with a candor you could call bold or reckless, that it would be a pity to allow ‘hysteria about global warming’ to cause us ‘to raise taxes and in turn lower our standard of living and lead to an increase in poverty’… He also said, ‘Historically, prosperity tends to correlate to warmer temperatures.’”
Excuse me Mackey, can I get some assistance over here on aisle shut-the-hell-up?
I’m not foolish enough to think that everyone agrees on healthcare reform, unions or global warming, but will someone stop this dude from ruining his perfectly lovely store? Some of us organic-loving hysterical mommies are steadfast, earnest types who have to do what we believe is right for our families and our babies.
So, now what? This is the part of the post where I’m supposed to get to my point. Should I say that we shouldn’t shop there? That we should take our money elsewhere? Yes! I feel like I should say that. But, how do I really feel?
Meh (shoulder shrug).
See, those heirloom navel oranges were really super-good. I mean super good. I think I might be in love with them. It’s clouding my judgement. Crumbling my resolve.
What do you think? Do we need to banish Whole Foods? Where do you shop and why?
I have a lot to say on this topic. There will be more very soon. Stay tuned…