Wednesday, September 30, 2009

New neighbor up the hill

Whole Foods (Whole Paycheck) opens today on upper 24th Street in Noe Valley where the Bell Market used to be. Somewhat reluctantly, I'll be boycotting at least for awhile. I'm not usually a fan of word-of-mouth or even internet-viral boycotts. Pressure takes organization. But there are times we have to put our money where our convictions are.

John Mackey, the CEO of the ultrahigh end retailer of oh-so-correct foods (many healthy and yummy), has put himself out as an enemy of health care for all. That is, he's an entitled libertarian sicko. He could have simply shut up. But no. So I'm disinclined to contribute to his profits while there's still a chance of some meaningful reform.

Nice to see several friends in this recent pleasant exercise in aggressive speech at the Oakland Whole Foods market. [6:53] Enjoy. I particularly like the bemused looks from the security guard.


bjohanna said...

There is a reason it’s called Whole Paycheck. Prices are consistently higher than regular grocery stores and even our local (small) chain of food co-ops PCC Natural Foods. “Creating wealth through profits & growth” is one of Whole Foods' core values. Yes, it is a company with stockholders. Whole Foods has posted pictures of small, organic farmers in their stores without carrying products from these farmers, thus misleading customers. The CEO has posed as someone else on-line in an attempt to force down the stock prices of a competitor to make it easier for Whole Foods to purchase that chain. Bad behavior (illustrated by the CEO's opposition to health care reform) is nothing new.

I couldn’t find the original Wall Street Journal articles that documents this, but did find a blog that discusses these points in more detail, The Gaytheist Agenda . As far as I can tell, Whole Foods is just as cut-throat as any other not-locally-owned for profit enterprise.

Least you think Trader Joe’s is substantially different, it’s not. The chain is a privately-held firm owned by two of Germany’s richest men. Both corporations sometimes sacrifice truth for profits.

“Buy local” continues to be an appropriate response to all this corporate wrong-doing.

Civic Center said...

I've always been ambivalent about the place, so the libertarian CEO opening his big mouth in such an offensive way just made it easy to stop being ambivalent. I'll never walk into one of their stores again unless there really is no other choice.