Whole Foods is now the second largest American non-union food retailer, after WalMart. (Don’t get me wrong here: I am not on that “we hate Walmart” bandwagon –we don’t have WalMart here in New York City, but, when I see one elsewhere, I go in to see what they have that I might want, that is hard to find at home… Yes, New York City does not have everything)
I, myself, do not shop at Whole Foods any longer, as when it opened its Union Square store, it forced my favorite local organic food market out of business.
By squeezing out smaller natural foods/organic foods markets in the areas it enters, Whole Foods has positioned itself to control organic and natural food retailing, including availability and pricing. It is starting to look like the Monsanto of organic foods, and, at the same time, Whole Foods is not totally clear about what customers are receiving when they purchase packaged products labeled as “natural” (often, these have been found to be convention food products which have been “greenified” by the label “natural”, a label which is not controlled in any way).
Of course, if you are eating all raw, or at least eating “all natural” (as in: you buy your vegetables and prepare them from scratch, without using any packaged products), the only thing you need to worry about at Whole Foods is whether or not they are being truthful about what produce is organic (this has been called into question, owing to reports by truckers who bring in the produce and claim to have seen the same pallet of boxes of produce arbitrarily divided between the organic and non-organic produce sections).
This discussion has been treated so well already, by previous authors, that I do not feel the need to re-invent the wheel here. If you are interested in knowing more, please check out the following articles:
If the above-listed article whets your appetite, check out the next two. They are similar to one another in focus, yet, at the same time, each illustrates different aspects of the controversy.