Rather than continuing to defend a fellow citizen’s right to have an opinion contrary to my own made before an audience of his peers without being made to suffer for it, I am going to try and explain my evolution from eating shit food to demanding no less than a Whole Foods on every corner. Apparently there is some confusion as to why someone who wants to live a long and healthy life would deign to shop at such a repressive company.
I have been married for nearly three years now and prior to that state of renewed enthusiasm for life, I was a confirmed bachelor until the ripe old age of 35. I rarely paid attention to the ingredients in the food I picked off the shelves at whatever store happened to be closest to my current home, which changed quite frequently. Corner Market or Safeway or NEX, it really didn’t matter. I had spent most of my adult life eating Navy chow or fast food or using a grill for assorted meats. I had certainly never shopped at “Whole Paycheck” or a Farmer’s Market because neither were on my radar as the indispensable services they are today. My wife had proceeded along the same sort of path with regards to her weekly shopping until we got together.
No real thought put into the process of what we put in our bodies.
As we became more politically aware, we began to pay more attention to how national chains and giant food manufacturers were conducting business. We stopped shopping at Walmart. We started recycling. We paid more attention. It wasn’t until a small Farmer’s Market moved into our DC neighborhood where we bought our house that we began to make the connection to our weekly trips to Safeway as being part of the problem and not part of the solution. One odd week, the experience at the local Safeway was so dysfunctional and the cost of our groceries had always come in around $150 that we figured how could Whole Foods be any more expensive.
It only took a single trip to realize we were right. What we didn’t calculate was the change in how we approached food shopping from that moment on and the long-term cost reductions we would reap by way of a new, more healthy eating regimen.
We still spend about the same amount of money for the same amount of food, but there is literally no comparing the quality of products we purchase. It’s like comparing apples to orangutans. We are fortunate enough to be able to supplement those trips with regular visits to the second largest Farmer’s Market on the east coast in Dupont Circle, but there are many choices from local growers at the Whole Foods we frequent. We even occasionally go to the regional Yes! Organic Grocers, though they have a limited selection and are a bit more pricey than Whole Foods. Trader Joe’s is not really in the same league and is about the same amount. We have tried going back to Safeway and tried Harris Teeter, neither of which allowed us to find the same quality items at the same price. They were a steal on the Everything with Corn & Soy aisles, but the organic and all natural selections were premium priced and much less abundant.
We don’t want to support their business practices anyway. They should not be rewarded for keeping King Corn alive.
I understand how truly blessed my family is to have a reality that affords us the opportunity to have these luxuries and to make these choices. We earned every last reward, though, so I am not going to feel guilty about. It makes me sad that every market in the country could be carrying the same exact items as Whole Foods does today, thus bringing the price down for everyone, but for one the most asinine food subsidy policies in the history of mankind and the foolish actions of a single misguided man. We are being poisoned by our own hand and the one food distribution company with the national clout to change the paradigm and a mission to actually make a difference is being pilloried by liberals for having a CEO who supports a more market-based approach to health care? How does that make a lick of sense from a strategic standpoint if you care one wit for progressive political goals with regards to the state of our food supply chains?
Yes, I am linking to blogs I already wrote because I hate to repeat myself.
Our problems are so much larger than health care reform alone or some rather predictable answers to making it work from a libertarian point of view that I find it hard to believe Mackey’s comments made as much of a stir as they did. They are hardly revolutionary from an ideological perspective. No less so than Medicare-for-All being the rallying cry for so many on the left. I was also surprised at the lack of Whole Foods patrons coming to the store’s defense who understand the complexity of the issues. I have no problem advocating for a service that I find to be exemplary in nature. In fact, we would be super bummed if they went away since nothing really exists to replace Whole Foods. Crushed was the word my wife used, though neither of us think the company is going to do anything other than thrive in years to come as people’s expectations slowly change to embrace sustainability.
My family is more than happy to support Whole Foods
corporate mission by continuing to do our weekly shopping there. We wish more people would do the same.