August 2008


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Jim West <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 11 Aug 2008 02:17:06 -0400
text/plain (113 lines)

You write, "Whole Foods Market is all about organics."

Unless it has changed in the last year, it is primarily non-organic.  It
gives the advertised impression of 'organic' but it is not primarily so.

It comingles organic and non-organic products, side-by-side, creating room
for error on part of the stocking crew and the buyers, errors, which only
net higher profit for Whole Foods.  

It buys from suppliers that sell both organic and conventional.  Yet in its
stock report 2007, it boasts that it does not 'comingle'.

Whole Foods puts large signs on the walls that badly (I believe, illegally)
define 'organic' and 'conventional' foods, expanding (in the readers mind)
options to include types of pesticides in 'organic' foods.

Here is a Whole Foods sign:

"'Organic' means food grown without the use of potentially harmful
persistent pesticides."

"Persistent pesticides" means DDT, arsenic, etc.  Whole Foods is, in effect,
claiming that food with the later generation of pesticides, are 'organic',
leaving options open to exploit lobby efforts to degrade organic standards.

Whole Foods is owned by Morgan Stanley, Barclays Plc, Putnam LLC, Rowe Price
Assoc, American Express, and others (do you have the rest, Louis?).

Wouldn't these Wall Street investors just as likely invest in
pharmaceuticals, pesticides or war-gas?  Incidentally, who is behind the
lobbying of the US Government to lower organic standards? 

Regarding "Fresh Direct", yes it sucks too, but my beef is that they idle
their trucks, poisoning the air with exhaust; they should be called,
"Exhaust-Direct, Inc."

Jim West

On Sun, 10 Aug 2008 13:56:40 -0400, Louis Proyect <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>About 3 years ago I began buying meat or fish from Fresh Direct and
>Whole Foods in New York. The first is an Internet-based retailer. You
>order online and deliveries are made to your apartment from
>warehouses in the outer boroughs. The advantage supposedly to Fresh
>Direct was that the food was under tighter control than in
>supermarkets where meat and fish are sold long after their expiration
>date. Their website brags:
>"Our food comes directly from farms, dairies and fisheries (not
>middlemen), so it's several days fresher and a lot less expensive
>when it gets to your table. Our fully refrigerated, state-of-the-art
>facility (minutes from Manhattan in Long Island City) lets us meet
>standards no retail store in the country can match. We follow USDA
>guidelines and the HACCP food safety system in all our fresh storage
>and production rooms. Since customers don't shop in our facility, we
>can maintain different environments for each type of food we sell.
>For example, we have seven different climates for handling produce,
>ensuring that the bananas are as happy as the potatoes."
>As much as I enjoyed the convenience of ordering from Fresh Direct, I
>cut them out last October when I discovered that the initial capital
>investment came from Peter Ackerman, a George Soros type investor who
>funds NGO's around the world dedicated to overthrowing the latest
>designated enemy of the U.S. State Department�including the Albert
>Einstein Institute that Stephen Zunes is haplessly trying to defend
>against the charge of meddling in Venezuela's internal politics.
>Whole Foods, on the other hand, is a nationwide chain that first
>established a foothold in New York a few years ago. Whatever I wasn't
>buying from Fresh Direct, I'd pick up at Whole Foods. As its name
>implies, it puts a heavy emphasis on organic meat and produce. Their
>website, competing with Fresh Direct as to who is best positioned to
>Save the Planet, informs us:
>This is where it all began. Whole Foods Market is all about organics,
>and organics is all about respect for the earth and the natural
>processes that have nourished us for millennia. Organic agriculture
>works in harmony with Nature to produce food that is free of man-made
>toxins, promoting the health of consumers, farmers and the earth,
>with an eye to maintaining that health far into the future.
>Organic farming is a hopeful enterprise, practiced with compassion
>and empathy for the land and the creatures upon it.
>Somehow, the "health of consumers" went by the wayside this week when
>Whole Food was implicated in a major E. coli outbreak, as today's
>Washington Post reports:
>"Whole Foods Market pulled fresh ground beef from all of its stores
>Friday, becoming the latest retailer affected by an E. coli outbreak
>traced to Nebraska Beef, one of the nation's largest meatpackers.
>It's the second outbreak linked to the processor in as many months.
>"The meat Whole Foods recalled came from Coleman Natural Foods, which
>unbeknownst to Whole Foods had processed it at Nebraska Beef, an
>Omaha meatpacker with a history of food-safety and other violations.
>Nebraska Beef last month recalled more than 5 million pounds of beef
>produced in May and June after its meat was blamed for another E.
>coli outbreak in seven states. On Friday it recalled an additional
>1.2 million pounds of beef produced on June 17, June 24 and July 8,
>which included products eventually sold to Whole Foods. The recall is
>not related to the recent spate of E. coli illnesses among Boy Scouts
>at a gathering in Goshen, Va.
>"Whole Foods officials are investigating why they were not aware that
>Coleman was using Nebraska Beef as a processor, spokeswoman Libba Letton said."